Need A Last-Minute Passport? Do It Now Or Drive To Dallas

Mickey Leland Federal Building [Wikipedia]
People in Houston who need an emergency passport are about to have one less option for a while. The Passport Agency office downtown will shut down later this month for renovations.

The Passport Agency will close on September 23rd, a week from Monday, and re-open in January of 2014.  The agency's Jose Pedraza says the renovations are mostly cosmetic, and are part of the larger makeover to the Leland Federal Building downtown.

"They're redoing all the floors, putting in new tile, and putting in new carpet, and so on and so forth.  And the building, the structure of the outside is being renovated."

People who need routine passport services can go to the post office or the office of the county clerk.  Pedraza says those locations will also handle expedited passport requests, which typically take 2-3 weeks instead of the usual 4-6.  

"But if they need an emergency passport service, for immediate travel, they can actually schedule an appointment with the closest passport agencies located in Dallas, El Paso, and New Orleans."

If you want to head off a long road trip, Pedraza says the downtown Passport Agency will be open for one more week, before renovations start. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins will be accepted.  To expedite a passport, whether it's same day or 2-3 weeks will cost $60 on top of the standard $135 fee for adults.

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