Don't freak out.

By Cailey Rizzo
May 22, 2017
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U.S. passports
Credit: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

There are few travel situations more nightmarish than realizing a passport has expired right before an international trip.

The typical passport renewal comes within six to eight weeks, but for anything faster, it’s necessary to apply for an expedited passport.

An expedited passport directly from the government takes anywhere from two to eight weeks to process. Applicants pay a $60 expedite fee for processing — which can be done via mail or at a nearby acceptance facility. It’s also possible to pay more for overnight shipping (about $15) to receive the passport even faster.

If travelers are leaving within two to three weeks, it’s possible to make an appointment at a passport agency or center and apply for an expedited passport. There are 25 regional passport agencies throughout the country, located in major cities.

There are also a few private expediters who can quickly process a passport application. RushMyPassport can turn around a new passport the next day for $449, plus government fees. For those who can wait a bit longer, it’s possible to get a passport in 10 to 12 days for $109 plus fees.

For travelers who need a passport renewal or visa immediately, the State Department offers a “Life or Death Emergencies” option. Although some circumstances may feel like life or death in the moment, the only situations that will get you a passport within three days are “serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours.”