Hurricane Harvey Is Delaying Expedited US Passports

Aug 30, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Just as the US State Department deals with a surge in demand for passports, two major passport-issuing offices have closed down, one as a direct casualty of Hurricane Harvey. This could cause significant problems for US citizens who applied or want to apply for an expedited passport or need a fast renewal.

Here’s what’s going on: back on April 23, the Miami Passport Agency office sustained “significant water damage.” For the last four months, that office has been closed until further notice for “damage assessment and repairs.” During this time, the Miami Passport Agency office has set up a temporary location but has been sending its passport applications to the Houston Passport Agency office.

You might see where this is going.

Due to the massive flooding in Houston from Hurricane Harvey, the Houston office is closed for its own weather-related issues. A notice on the Houston Passport Agency’s website notes that the office is closed through Monday, September 4. However, as with the Houston airports, this reopen date might get delayed further. Thankfully, the Houston Passport Agency office is located on the fourth floor, and there hasn’t been any reported damage to the office.

We found out about this situation thanks to our friends at Allied Passport & Visa. The Points Guy was working with the service to secure a second passport for upcoming travel when he found out that their expedited services aren’t going to be as fast as normal due to the hurricane damage.

Let’s hear their take on the situation:

United States citizens looking to apply for a passport renewal, new passport or second passport can apply wherever most convenient to them. If you have applied or plan on applying for regular processing passport service through ANY agency Allied Passport does not expect any significant delays.

However, for travelers looking for emergency processing for travel within a few days they might be out of luck as most visa service agencies have already filled their slots (such as New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles etc.) from other visa companies shifting their processing from Houston to other areas of the country.

For travelers in such a bind, and not within driving distance to apply in person at an agency, Allied Passport recommends calling other private visa & passport companies around the country to see if they have any expedited slots still available. Allied Passport is one of those services that is not accepting any expedited USA passport orders until mid-next week.

Note that there are still ways of getting an emergency passport within 72 hours. If you’re faced with a “life and death emergency,” you can call 1-877-487-2778 (or 1-888-874-7793 TTY/TDD) to make an appointment for an emergency passport. However, you’re going to have to head to one of the passport agency offices (other than Houston or Miami) for your appointment. Life and death emergencies are defined as “serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family that require you to travel outside the United States.”

Featured image by Bet_Noire / Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.