Portsmouth Passport Office – Getting a Same Day Passport

by on April 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm

After exceeding 150 comments on post detailing my original experience getting a same day passport, I decided to go through the comments and separate the experiences and helpful tips by passport office.

These comments and tips were related to people’s experiences at the Portsmouth Passport Office.

From Mainer:

I wanted to write in and document my own experience as a way of saying thanks. Without this blog and the commenters here I would have been in deep trouble!

1) Please include Portsmouth, NH on your list of Regional Passport Agencies. They have been making passports there since 1992, but only opened up a service counter in October of 2010. They are located at 207 International Drive, Portsmouth, NH, 03801. The number at which they can be contacted is 603-422-0000. As you will see from my own experiences they have an efficient, cheerful, and all-around delightful staff.

2) I made an appointment for Friday, April 8th using the automated system. It was quite easy, and Portsmouth’s schedule was wide open. I was able to get a 9:30am appointment even though I called late at night on Wednesday, April 6th.

3) I filled out the online form (both DS-11 and DS-82 are easily accessible), which was a snap to complete and to print.

4) I went to my local AAA office for passport photos (Kinko’s is also a good option).

5) I printed out my electronic ticket and also requested a letter from my employer stating that I was flying overseas. This last part was more of a backup, just in case.

6) I arrived at the Portsmouth office with the DS-82 printed out, my passport photos, proof of travel, social security card, driver’s license, and my expired passport. (N.B. If you are applying for a new passport then you’ll use a different form, but the process is the same). The office is in a large building near Pease Airport. There are no signs saying that the passport office is there, but there are parking spaces saying “State Department Visitor Parking” and the address (207 International Drive) is well-marked. There is plenty of parking.

7) Security was thorough, efficient and friendly. I was in the waiting room about 2 minutes after I parked at 9:00am.

8) There are three windows in the service area. One of the security officers directs people to the first window in the order in which they had arrived. I waited for about 5 minutes before being called to the first window, where all of my documents were briefly inspected, my driver’s license scanned and photocopied, my business ascertained, and from where I was then issued an appointment number. I sat back down and waited for another 15 minutes, at which point I was called to one of the other two windows. There I handed over my forms, identification and answered a few brief questions. I handed over all of my documents, and paid for the service with a credit card (checks are also accepted). Total charge came to $170. I was then told to return to the office at 4pm in order to pick up my new passport. The office manager also said, however, that if my passport was produced more quickly she’d be happy to give me a call. I gave her my cell number and left the office. She advised me to return before 4pm, however, as they close the doors promptly at that time. I had arrived at 9:00am and was leaving at 9:30am, with a will-call receipt and a pleasant experience behind me.

9) After going into downtown Portsmouth to wander around (I live about 90 minutes from Portsmouth and it is a lovely town) and grab lunch, I went back to the passport office at 2:45, figuring it wouldn’t hurt to get there early and read rather than risk a last-minute delay and thus miss the 4pm deadline. As I was pulling into the parking lot I received a phone call from the office letting me know that my passport was ready. I walked through security, went to the first window immediately, and was handed my new passport and all of my documents (including old passport) after showing my driver’s license. This took all of one minute. I was on the road home by 3:00. Everything had worked exactly as I’d expected (and hoped) thanks to this blog. The Portsmouth staff was excellent: friendly, professional and very efficient.

10) My experience was all the more impressive because I was there on Friday, April 8th, when a government shutdown was looming, so the office was swamped with people trying frantically to get passports before the Republicans flipped off the master switch for government workers. If you live in Northern or even Central New England, the Portsmouth office definitely is the place to go. It is much easier to access, and not nearly as busy as the one in Boston. Parking is free, the staff excellent, and everything works like a charm.

If you have had an experience at the Portsmouth passport office, please share it below. This tremendously helps future readers!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. | Dave Naffziger's BlogDave & Iva Naffziger