San Diego Passport Office – Getting a Same Day Passport

by on April 10, 2011 at 2:52 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.

The San Diego passport office opened in early 2011. We’ve had a few early reports of a people having a much easier time getting an appointment there (Apr 10, 2011). I’d expect that this will change over time.

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

From Graham

I tried to get an appointment at the Los Angeles office, and the earliest available was almost a week later (far too late for me). The phone operator was being slightly mysterious, but kept suggesting I try the San Diego office before she would try and make an exception for me. So, I called back into the automated system, and sure enough, the San Diego office had a next day appointment available at 8:30am.

I drove down there and arrived at 6am to avoid San Diego downtown traffic. The elevator won’t let you off on the 10th floor until much closer to their 8am opening time, so you really can’t line up if you get there early.

Once I was up there, I found out that the San Diego passport office is BRAND new (the ribbon cutting ceremony was supposedly last week). All the construction was brand new, and it was pretty much empty of customers. They had plenty of agents, though, and I found out that most or all had transferred from other offices (meaning they know what they’re doing). The security was almost ridiculous – there were at least 5 armed guards, all for a relatively small area. And they were doing everything BY THE BOOK. I saw them turn away two people without appointments, even though they were there before the doors opened. Of course, it should have been easy for them to get an appointment by phone, probably even the same day.

No electronic devices allowed to be used inside. Not sure why, but that can make waiting even more painful. Again, that would only start to matter once people find out this place exists.

They weren’t sure they could turn my passport around on the same day because they were having computet troubles. They gave me a 2pm appointment to come back and pick it up, assuming it was ready. It turns out it was ready – no problem.

I’m not sure how long it will stay this way, but if you have the option between Los Angeles and San Diego, I would say San Diego appears to be a much more pleasant experience – for now.

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

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