For the first time in four years, I would be visiting my family in the States. For the past four years, my French passport was my entry to other countries before and after the pandemic. Wednesday afternoon, six days before my departure, while entering information into the airline website, the moment of desperation descended upon me. The expired passport, two business days, a weekend and Labor Day stood between me and the flight.
Asking those around me for their experiences helped bring down the tension, but I had to act swiftly. With a quick exchange of emails with the Embassy I received a Friday morning appointment, stood in line with about 50 or more people and by 2 p.m. Friday had obtained an emergency passport. If you follow the Embassy procedure to the letter for an expired, lost or stolen passport, you can quickly obtain an an appointment, instructions, and an emergency passport, returning to pick it up the same day you visit the embassy.
With about 25 people in front of me in line, I managed to be the first to be processed. The security guard opened the barrier at 8 a.m. Said something indistinguishable about 8 a.m. appointments; no one moved so I went forward. You show your appointment letter, go through security and leave all electronic devices with security, which includes watches. Take a number, and have your forms ready.
If you fill in the wrong form (me), the agent gives you the correct one and you wait again for your turn (not long). In advance, fill in both the DS-11 and the DS-82 then you are sure to have the correct form.
For the initial appointment, I wrote to the Embassy on Wednesday after 2 p.m. Within a couple of hours, the passport office sent their request for information. Once I filled it out, I then received an appointment date for Friday morning at 8:00 am. The emergency passport is good for one year. The fee you pay is also extended for the new 10-year passport when you return in exchange for the emergency passport.
What to do:
- You must make an appointment – walk ins are no longer accepted
- Write to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates PassportsParis@state.gov
- Visit the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in France website
- Fill out the DS-11 and the DS-82 (DS-64 for lost or stolen)
- Wait until you are there to sign and date the forms. In the passport letter all the following is detailed, including need to know your flight plans.
- Bring your photo (Photomaton in Paris works perfectly), last passport, other IDs
- Bring a credit card or cash to pay the fee
- More information