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Sunday, October 2nd
Passports and Visas has been around since 1992, processing over two million passport applications since then. You can access every type of passport processing here, from new applications and renewals to name changes, second passports, and more. This company has offices throughout the US, including DC, Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Denver, and they serve clients nationwide.
Very competitive service fees
What can you expect to pay for your passport service here? As always, that depends on your desired turnaround speed: $799 for emergency service (5 days), $749 for priority service (7 days), $699 for rush service (10 days), and $149 for expert consulting (60 days). Shipping fees (typically $29 each way) and government-mandated fees aren't included in those costs.
A la carte services worth checking out
There are several add-ons you can consider with your passport service. For $49, you can get a document pre-check to make sure your application is accurate and ready to be submitted; it's completed within two business hours. For $99, you can take advantage of Passports and Visas' VIP concierge service, giving you extra hand-holding and attention as you go through the passport process. There's also a protection plan for $14.95 that gets you expedited replacement if your passport is ever lost, stolen, or damaged. Our favorite a la carte option is the digital photo service: instead of making a trip to the drugstore or somewhere else to get those pesky regulation passport photos, just send in a photo from home and they'll format it perfectly for your application. That service is a bargain at $7.95.
Out of all of the passport services we evaluated, Passports and Visas has the worst reputation with the Better Business Bureau: not just an "F" but over 30 complaints that received no response from the company. That surprised us, given that this company proudly displays an "excellent" rating over 9,200 user reviews collected on a third-party site. However, when we actually visited that site, Passports and Visas had almost 1,000 reviews and a much less impressive 3.7 out of 5-star "average" rating.
Recent reviews are a big disappointment
In the nearly 800 reviews between then and now, almost every customer complained that this service is total garbage. Poor communication, double charging of fees, late deliveries, and lacking attention to detail are just a few reasons the most recent reviews were almost all one star (with many individuals saying they'd go lower if they could).
Doesn't do right by its clients lately
Yes, Passports and Visas may have helped more than two million people with their passport applications over the last 30 years. But, there's no reason why they should be failing to respond to complaints at the BBB, and with the overwhelming number of negative reviews coming in over the last few months, we're left wondering if this company is failing to live up to its three-decade history. This isn't the absolute worst passport service we've found, but it could definitely use some work.
Maybe you've found a last-minute travel deal to that far-flung destination you've always dreamed of visiting. Or you've got family members overseas that need you there in a hurry. Whatever the reason, lots of people find themselves in need of a passport and can't afford the weeks (or months) it can take to get it processed through the US Passport Agency at the local post office.
Fortunately, there are several passport services that can expedite the process, allowing you to get your documents in a few weeks, a few days, or even one business day - depending on how urgently you need them (and, as you'd expect, on how much you're willing to pay for the rush). Also, these providers can often help if your destination requires a travel visa to enter.
Sounds like a hassle, but the days where travelers could just head out with a driver's license and a birth certificate are long gone. Some people used to specifically book closed-loop cruises (where you leave from and return to the same US port) to avoid having to pay for a passport - and while that's still legal, you could find yourself in trouble if you miss the ship's departure from a destination port and have to get back to the US on your own.
For many reasons, having a passport just makes sense. Adult passports are good for ten years, and youth passports for five, so they can be used as government ID for a long time and in a variety of ways (like when minors fly domestically or need other proof of identity, prior to getting a driver's license).
Now that you're convinced that you need a passport, and you're excited at the idea of being able to get yours quickly, which passport service should you choose? Here are some factors to keep in mind:
To help you get your passport as quickly as possible, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked the most popular passport services available today. We're confident that this information will make it fast and (relatively) affordable to get your travel documents ready to go. Bon voyage!
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