Mobile Passport, one of the better kept secrets of international travel, is about to become even more convenient. The app that gives users the ability to speed through customs after returning to the United States on an international flight has developed the ability to connect travelers with expedited passport renewal services.
Downloadable on iPhone and Android phones, the Mobile Passport app enables travelers to store their passport information as well as their family members’ passport information. Users who fly into 1 of more than 30 participating U.S. airports can enter their flight number and information upon arrival. They then answer the customs questions via the app. Once they submit the information, it goes to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which will send back a barcode that allows the traveler to skip the regular customs and immigration lines. They use a separate Mobile Passport lane, scan the barcode, show their physical passport, and they’re on their way.
Mobile Passport members had already been receiving an in-app notification when their U.S. passport was within six months of its expiration date. Now, once they get that notification, they can actually go ahead and start the process of renewing their U.S. passport through the app.
That’s thanks to a new partnership with RushMyPassport, an expedited passport processing service. Travelers who choose to use the service through the Mobile Passport app will have the option to renew their passport in as little as 24 hours or with a turnaround time of up to 10 days—for a fee, of course—versus the six to eight weeks the U.S. Department of State currently says is the standard passport processing time. If you want to go ahead and use the standard passport renewal process, you can do so on your own.
The expedited service typically costs between $120 for 10-day service and $450 for same-day service (though note that “same-day” refers to the amount of time it will take to get the passport renewed with the State Department and doesn’t take into account shipping, which will require an additional day in each direction if you choose to overnight the documents). That is on top of the standard State Department processing fees (which start at $170 for adults, and at $140 for children under 16), as well as shipping and handling fees.
Currently, Mobile Passport’s new RushMyPassport expedited passport renewal service is available via the Mobile Passport website, and it will be available through the app after the start of the new year. To use it, fill out RushMyPassport’s online Q&A, which will provide you with the correct government forms. You will need to print those out, complete and sign them, and send them—together with government-compliant photos and the required documentation—to RushMyPassport via FedEx to finalize the process.
Mobile Passport can be used by U.S. passport holders as well as Canadian passport holders with B1 or B2 visa status. However, the RushMyPassport services only apply to U.S. passports at this time.