Passport Web Sites Flourish

Since the 2005 announcement that passports would be required of all U.S. citizens traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Bermuda—and since the legislation took effect in late January—web sites geared toward informing consumers and agents about passport-related news and deals have been emerging on a daily basis. And the already-existing passport sites have been steadily gaining steam.

To help you avoid scrolling through the more than one million results you'll get on Google if you type in "passport" and "web sites," Travel Agent scoped out some of the more notable sites for you to share with your clients.

GetAPassportNow.com


Travel industry representatives have touted the success of GetAPassportNow.com, which launched more than two months ago and provides links to U.S., Canadian and Mexican passport information. The site received more than 1.2 million hits and 50,000 unique visitors as of late January, according to Roger J. Dow, president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association (TIA). Visit www.getapassportnow.com.

Passport123.com


This American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)-affiliated site offers passport service starting at $49 and online forms that the site boasts take no longer than 30 seconds to fill out. It provides links to information on child passports, lost or stolen passports, passport renewals and name changes. Visit www.passport123.com.

PassportsAndVisas.com


Since this site launched in 1992 it has secured more than 100,000 passports for U.S. travelers. Also an ASTA-affiliated site, PassportsAndVisas.com guarantees a U.S. passport application in 24 hours, noting on its site that it takes about six weeks to obtain a passport otherwise. Service fees start at $59 for a turnaround time of 7-10 business days. (Note that this doesn't include government fees of $127.)

Among its numerous features, the site offers round-the-clock reports on the status your application as well as status updates via e-mail, with the final e-mail alerting them that their passport application has been completed. Visit www.passportsandvisas.com. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Update

PassportExpress.com


This ASTA-affiliated site also claims to expedite passports in 24 hours. It provides services and information on passports, visas and birth certificates. Passport services start at $59, while visa services service start at $49. Visit www.passportexpress.com.

PassportNation.com


This site provides links to information on new passports, passport renewals, lost passports, child passports, name changes and adding pages to your current passport. It also provides information on visas. Prices are $130 for 1- to 2-day rush service of passports, $95 for 3- to 4-day express service and $70 for 5- to 6-day priority service. For visas, the site charges $100 for a 1- to 2-day process of business and tourist visas and $75 for 3- to 4-day express service. For both visas and passport, add $20 for shipping fees. Visit www.passportnation.com.

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