Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue or verify United States passports. Sounds like a hassle, but don't worry. In Manhattan, getting and renewing passports can be painless if you know what you're doing.
New Application for a U.S. Passport -- Slow Way
To get your first passport, you'll have to go in person to one of 20 passport acceptance facilities in Manhattan. You'll need documentation -- two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a drivers license. You'll also have to apply in person if your expired passport is not in your possession, if your previous passport has expired and was issued more than 15 years ago, if your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under 16 or if your currently valid passport has been lost of stolen. Normally, you will get your passport in about six weeks this way.
New Application for a U.S. Passport -- Faster Way
If you are traveling within 14 days, you can get expedited service for a fee of $60 plus overnight delivery fees. You will have to go to the New York Passport Agency at 376 Hudson Street between 7:30 am and 3:00 pm Monday through Friday (except federal holidays). Take the 1 or 9 local to Houston St. To apply here, you will have to call 1-877-487-2778 (24-hour appointment line) first to make an appointment. You will be asked to provide proof that you will be traveling within 14 days.
New Application for a U.S. Passport -- Fastest Way
If you need your passport right away, a passport expediting service can be the answer. Some services claim to get you a new passport in as little as 24 hours if you have an emergency -- and they do the legwork for you. You'll pay for the fast turnaround -- anything from $50 to $180+ (not including government fees). Here are some Manhattan expediters to consider:
It's Easy, Inc.: 125 Park Avenue, 2nd Floor (directly across from Grand Central Station). Phone: 1-866-ITS-EASY (1-866-487-3279)
Travisa: 292 Fifth Ave. (between 30th and 31st), Suite 204. Tel: 212-613-2223
Travco: 1375 Broadway, Ste. 600, New York, NY 10018. Tel: 212-624-9194
Renew Your Passport Fast