What is the Best Way to Send a Passport?

Learn about your different options for sending a passport, and why you need to use a trackable shipping service
best way to send a passport

Sending a passport out for renewal can be nerve-racking. It’s one of the most sensitive forms of identification out there, and losing it can result in a major headache. That’s why agencies always strongly encourage you to send a passport with a trackable, guaranteed shipping service. This way, you can keep tabs on it should anything go wrong. Fortunately, there are a few options here at your disposal.

The Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelope is the Best Way to Send a Passport (and Most Recommended by Government Agencies)

The most popular option for shipping a passport is to use the Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelope. It’s the cheapest sub-set of Priority Mail Express that the US Postal Service offers, comes with full package tracking, as well as a money-back guaranteed delivery date. USPS Priority Mail Express is the fastest and most secure USPS shipping service, which makes it the premier choice for sending a passport out for renewal.

Pro Tip: You don’t have to go to the Post Office to buy Priority Mail Express postage. You can capture the deepest discounts and save money on all kinds of USPS services when you use free online shipping software to buy postage, instead.

The Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope is a Cheaper Option

If Priority Mail Express is too expensive, the Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope is another fine option. It’s the cheapest Priority Mail Flat Rate service that USPS offers, and comes fully trackable, with delivery occurring between 1-4 business days. However, it doesn’t offer the same guaranteed delivery that Priority Mail Express does.

Use FedEx for Emergency or Expedited Delivery

FedEx is also a popular option for renewing a passport in a pinch. Their expedited services are much more expensive than Priority Mail Express. However, in recent months, they’ve proven much more reliable, as USPS has slowed down Priority Mail Express service. If you need to get your passport renewed in a pinch for an upcoming trip, FedEx may be the best way to go…albeit the most expensive.

Don’t Try to Mail a Passport

You may want to save money and try to mail a passport using regular postage stamps and a letter envelope. However, you should under no circumstances do this. Regular First-Class Mail doesn’t come with any form of tracking, which government authorities and agencies always recommend you use for sending sensitive documents and identification like passports.

We’ll say it one more time for the people in the back: don’t send a passport through the mail! Instead, ship it with one of the services listed above.

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