Help! I Need A Passport In 2 Days!

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Kelly's boyfriend needs a passport in a hurry, but how?

Kelly’s boyfriend needs a passport in a hurry, but how?

I am currently living in Japan and my boyfriend is planning on coming to visit me within the next few days (hooray!). The problem is that he applied for his passport several weeks ago, paying lots extra for the expedited process, but he still has not received it. He gets hung up on every time he calls to check on his passport status (due to heavy call volume, the IVR says), and when he tries to check using the online feature, it says they don’t have a record of his application. It also says to call if your info isn’t showing up, but you can’t actually get to a live person!

Is there any way you can find me a phone number where I can speak with an actual person at the National Passport Information Center? This is driving me nuts! He leaves first thing Friday, so time is of the essence. Anything you could do to help me out would be greatly appreciated!

Sincere thanks,


Our advice to her, and the story’s exciting conclusion, inside…

(Photo: cygnoir)

That same day, Carey replies…


We don’t have any contact information for the NPIC, but he should definitely try something that may sound counterintuitive: call his Member of Congress.

Members of Congress have staff (called constituent liaisons) whose sole job is to nudge executive agencies to do their job. It is the single best thing he can do.

Have him call the district office (the number that doesn’t start with 202.) He can find his Member of Congress here:

Two days later…


Thanks to your tip, he received his passport just in time! He had to drive up to D.C. and re-apply in person, but everything is taken care of now.

Thanks again!


Huzzah! Remember that next time an executive agency is being way too slow or unhelpful, call your Member of Congress. — BEN POPKEN

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