Expedited First Time Passport
Casto Travel / Visa By Casto is a long time accredited registered courier company with the United States Dept. of State.
The demand for US Passports is at an all time high. We are in a great position to help you get your first passport as quickly as possible. By following the steps below, the process will go as smoothly as possible. If you haven't already spoken with us about the process, please give us a call. If you've already spoken with us, then please follow these 4 steps.
This 'First Time Passport' process also applies if your most recent passport was issued more than 15 years ago or issued prior to age 16.
Note: As of 2017, the US Department of State's routine processing time for a US passport is now up to 6 weeks or longer from the date of application. For those requiring faster service, Casto can expedite your request (from 2 days to 2 weeks depending on your departure date and services requested). We are also able to process a limited number of emergency, same-day and 24-hour applications (proof of urgent international departure is required for all expediting). Contact us today for more information.
Step 1 of 4: Gather and complete the required documents
- Proof of US citizenship in the form of one of the following:
- Certified US birth certificate with embossed / raised seal / Recorder's Office signature
- Original naturalization papers
- Previous US passport
- Government issued identification (i.e. state issued driver’s license or military ID)
- DS-11 application form – The US Department of State form DS-11 will be generated through their online wizard and will assign a 2D barcode to the upper-left of the application form when printed. Instructions:
- Complete the online form.
- Print two copies of the completed form. Note: Do not sign until requested in Step 3 below. Also, do not fold your printed DS-11 application form. The US Passport Agency will not accept folded applications and folding may render a distorted image when placed on a flatbed scanner during the issuance process. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the generated application form.
- Casto Visa / Passport Work Order form
- Confirmed itinerary for travel within 2 weeks or, if not available, a Letter in Lieu of Travel Itinerary from your employer (business travelers only).
- Two copies of our Letter of Authorization
- To complete the two copies of the Letter of Authorization, check the first two check boxes and complete the bottom part (by hand, in blue ink, and by the applicant only). The third check box should only be checked if you wish to be contacted directly by the US Passport Agency in the event of a problem with your application (in this case, Casto would not be alerted by the Passport Agency in the event of a problem and thus your processing time could be delayed).
- For the Courier Company Name, indicate Casto Travel.
- Both copies must have an original signature. This grants Casto authorization on your behalf to handle and discuss the status of your passport application with a US Department of State Passport Service employee.
Step 2 of 4: Take your passport photos
- Two standard 2 inch x 2 inch passport photos taken within last 6 months with plain white background and without glasses.
- Photos must be on high quality photograph paper.
- Digital photos, if submitted, must be of high resolution (no grainy photos will be accepted). If you are in the Bay Area and prefer for us to take your photo for you, we have special facilities in our San Jose office to take high quality passport photos.
Step 3 of 4: Visit a local passport acceptance facility with your documents and photos
- Bring two checks (cash / credit card are not accepted) – one will be for the processing facility ($25); the other will be for the Department of State passport and expedite fees ($170). NOTE: Since your application form will be hand carried, there is no need to pay the US Post Office any extra return postage. Casto will bill your credit card for any return shipping should it be necessary.
- Ask the clerk to execute the documents and place them in a sealed envelope addressed to the U.S. Passport Agency.
- If you encounter a problem with a clerk refusing to do this procedure, please refer them to page 31 of the Passport Agent’s Manual "Hand Carrying of Executed Applications."
- Retain one copy of the form DS-11 and one copy of the Letter of Authorization for the next step.
Step 4 of 4: Provide Casto with the documents within 2 business days of obtaining the sealed envelope.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: We are required by the US Dept of State to submit all sealed DS-11 applications within 5 business days from the date they are sealed. The process will be considered null and void should your sealed documents be submitted later than that and you will have to start over.
- Gathered in the previous steps, we will require the sealed envelope, Casto Work Order Form, a copy of the DS-11 and a copy of the Letter of Authorization
- Get this information into our hands via one of the following methods:
- Hand it off to us at one of our two Bay Area locations that support our visa and passport services
- Send via FedEx, UPS, DHL, or Priority Overnight service (standard US Postal mail will not arrive in time) to: Casto Visa | Passport, 2560 North First Street, Suite 150, San Jose, CA 95131
- Have our in-house courier service pick up the documents from your Bay Area location.
Additional information and resources:
- Traveling with children under 15? See our special page for Children's Passports.
- If you are a current Casto client: Be sure to update your profile with your passport details and we'll send you a timely reminder to renew prior to your passport before expiration.