Your Papers, Please! How to Renew Your Passport in 4 Hours Without Any Stress

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My passport would be ready at 2:30 p.m. and would I please return to the building at that time. Given how quickly the initial steps had been accomplished, that left three hours to kill. The State Department police working in the building were full of advice on what to do in the area and several recommended the restaurant Dinosaur Bar-B-Que across the street as well as a shopping area and a Fairway supermarket.

I sat outside enjoying the sunny day on a park bench near the passport agency’s offices, responded to some e-mail messages, and headed over to the barbecue joint, which I reviewed separately.

Around 2:15 p.m. I headed back across the street, where a short line was forming. In line were people of all shapes and sizes, representing the melting pot that is the United States. Behind me were two Korean women who had first become citizens in the 1980s and were going back to their native land for a visit. There were a few business travelers on line who had unexpected work trips, and several families with small children.

Once the doors opened, the line moved quickly. Each person was greeted at a small reception desk where we exchanged the receipts we had been issued in the morning for a numbered card. This time, everyone waited in a room on the ground floor as numbers were called. Some passports weren’t quite ready and additional information was required but mostly it was a steady stream of calling out a group of numbers and handing out passports at three windows to happy travelers.

My number was called after a 30-minute wait so I was literally out the door in less than four hours of my arrival at the passport agency. I checked my passport book for the correct spelling of my name and other details and left. The clerks and State Department police wished everyone a pleasant trip.


The customer service ethos at the Stamford passport agency office was infectious. Everyone was in a good mood and that made any wait time pass quickly. Given that I was able to enjoy great barbecue, get work done, and still get my passport renewed in just a few hours, I’d recommend this or a similar option to those in need of a new passport.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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