If You Paid To Expedite Your Passport Application, You May Be Eligible For A Refund

The State Department will issue refunds to people who paid to expedite their passport application, but didn’t receive their passport within fourteen days. Expediting a passport costs $60 on top of the standard $97 application fee. The move comes after the State Department admitted they could not handle a spike in passport applications caused by new rules that prevent citizens from traveling to neighboring nations without a passport.

To request a refund, write to the State Department at:
Department of State
Passport Services/PPS/Refunds
2100 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037-3202

Customers should submit a written request with their passport number, if available, name, date and place of birth and approximate date(s) they applied for their passport and received their passport (if applicable). Mailing address and phone number should also be included.

The State Department will consider refunds on a case-by-case basis, so keep the “lol, big gov fails again!” rants to yourself. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Refund of Expedite Passport Fees [State Department]
PREVIOUSLY: State Department Delays Implementation Of New Passport Regulations Until September 30

Comments

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  1. Major-General says:

    Hmmm, a case by case basis. Yep, sounds like government fails again. So how long for the refund to get sent? Another 14 weeks?

    First!

  2. GitEmSteveDave says:

    Hrmmm, over 14 days to get a passport, at least five to do a check if you want to buy a weapon, but they are proposing 24 hour background checks to “find” illegal immigrants. Somehow those figures don’t jive.

  3. RebekahSue says:

    I’d expected a much bigger passport request surge when it was first announced that passports would be required to go to Canada and Mexico. I waited under a month for mine – and then, people in our group got away with using their drivers’ licenses and birth certificates.

    That was in 2005. Why are they so backed up now? It’s been two years; are more people applying? and, if so, why wasn’t the increase anticipated? You’d think requests would have gone up incrementally since then, wouldn’t you?

  4. mopar_man says:

    How many terrorists have they stopped from entering the country because of this new passport deal? And how many tourism dollars have they turned away for those not wanting to spend $100+ to get into the US? Just wondering is all…

  5. Bulldog9908 says:

    lol, big gov fails again!

    Seriously, how is this not a story about the failure of big government? They made the rules, failed to anticipate the increased demand and ended up screwing over thousands of Americans.

    The refund of the $60 fee is only the tip of the story. The real story is all the people who have non-refundable travel planned abroad this Summer. They made their plans, applied for passports well ahead of the published deadlines, and now they are without a passport and holding thousands of dollars worth of non-refundable tickets, hotels, cruises, etc…

    Will the State Department be compensating people for that? Didn’t think so.

  6. Kung Fu Cantona says:

    I must be one of the lucky ones, I applied and paid my expedite fee on a Wednesday and had a shiny new passport on Thursday. I did however know a few people that applied in January didn’t pay the fee and are still waiting. Personally, I think the extra $60 was well worth it to avoid being stressed out over it for 3 months.

  7. huadpe says:

    There is a trick to getting a no-fee expedited passport within a week or 2 of applying, and that is to apply at a US consulate or embassy abroad. I go to school in Canada, and I renewed my passport at the nearest US consulate when it was going to expire. $97 and it was issued the next day, and in my hands in a week. Useful if you are near the Canadian or Mexican border, as they still require only a birth cert + drivers license to drive over the border.

  8. rworne says:

    Well, we applied for a renewal of our child’s passport just last month. We also paid to expedite it so that we would be assured that it would arrive well before mid-July.

    Let me say I was amazed… no, SHOCKED to see the passport arrive in the mail just 5 or 6 business days later. On top of that, we didn’t even pay for overnight shipping.

  9. Her Grace says:

    @RebekahSue: Basically, a ton of people forgot about it. Because the law didn’t go into effect until this year, many people (most?) who anticipated travelling to Canada/Mexigo/the Carribean in the next couple of years but not immediately just put it off. Why drop $100 right now if you can do it later? Then, when they were reminded in December of last year and January of this year that they’re going to need one, now, they collectively panicked.

    The State Department processed about 12m passports last year. They’re projecting closer to 20m this year. While they did anticipate an upswing, I’m not sure if it’s fair to bitch too hard (I am a bit of an apologist, though, and admit it). To the best of my knowledge, while records of the number of people crossing various borders were kept, records of what they used to cross with (passport, birth certificate and liscence, other ID) weren’t kept, or weren’t uniformly kept. So the State Department had a general figure of the number of people crossing the borders, but without the very important information of how many of those people already held passports. It looks like they severely underestimated this number, and so are severely understaffed now.

  10. crappedcrusader says:

    Horray! The system is broken! We can privatize it now! Big Government has had a free pass for too long ! (/sarcasm)

  11. RebekahSue says:

    @Her Grace: Thanks for teh reply. I’m pretty anal about traveling (and have still had problems – I can’t imagine if I weren’t overly cautious) and I expect other people to be as well. I guess that’s unreasonable of me.

    A friend of mine and his friends were recently denied entry from Canada into the US, going to Disney, and were told that, despite credit cards and US “folding money” from when he lived here, they “didn’t have enough money” with them. (I was told the same thing, two trips back to Canada, but we got in after an hour’s hassle.) I believe that they all had Canadian passports.

    My friend had been posting all over MySpace at the time. His name has been flagged, supposedly, and he says he’s been told not to try again. He’s NOT a terrorist, and I wonder if anyone got in during the hour his group was detained and no other cars were. I don’t know all the details but I’m under the impression that the border guard could have been more courteous. While I want to take my friend’s side, I’m reserving judgment until I hear both sides, and I somehow doubt that I’ll hear from the border guards.