Applying for a temporary passport by mail
Who can apply by mail
Mail applications are for clients who need a passport now (e.g. you have confirmed travel in the next 4-6 weeks (or have another reason why a passport is urgently required) and who live in a state where the passport office is not seeing clients in person. A temporary passport can be issued to cover your immediate needs. To be eligible to apply by mail, you must be physically located in Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia.
If you are not located in these states, but are under a government stay-at-home order in your city or state, or are in a state where you are not permitted to travel interstate, you may also be eligible. Please contact the Passport Office responsible for your state for further information.
Who is not eligible to apply by mail
If you are not located in one of the states listed above, or your city/state is not under a stay-at-home order, you are not eligible to apply by mail. You should make an appointment to apply in person at a Passport Office.
Mail applications are not designed for routine passport renewals. If you are in one of the states listed above, but do not have confirmed international travel or a reason why you need a passport right now, you are not eligible to apply. We ask that you postpone your application until you can lodge your application in person, even if your passport will expire in the interim. There is no penalty for letting your passport expire.
We understand that many people have family in Australia and would prefer to have a passport just in case there is a sudden need to travel in an emergency. Please be assured that in a genuine emergency, our offices can facilitate your urgent return to Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. If this occurs, please call us for assistance. In the meantime, we ask that you postpone your application until it is possible to lodge in person. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to call your lodging office. We also encourage you to read the answers to frequently asked questions here.
How to request approval to apply by mail
Please email us with your request to apply by mail, including the information below. Your answers will help us to advise you on the best options for your individual circumstances.
1. Details of why you need a passport at this time - if you need a particular amount of validity on your passport, please indicate this
2. Copy of your tickets or other evidence (e.g. letter from employer attesting to your need to undertake business travel within the next 4-6 weeks) - this helps us determine your eligibility and advise you on the type of travel document you may need
3. Date of passport issue and expiry (if you've had a passport before)
4. Your passport number (if you've had a passport before)
5. The town and city in which you are currently located.
Please email your request to Washington.Passports@dfat.gov.au. We will reply within one working day.
Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for guidance on passport applications during COVID-19.