If summer travel dreams require a Passport, now's the time to apply, and Union Station in the Student Union is the place to start.
Union Station is an official U.S. Passport Acceptance Facility with a mission to make the process of getting government travel documents as painless as possible.
The primary reasons why Passport applications are delayed or returned is because applications are incomplete, illegible, do not adhere to submission guidelines, or the wrong fee was paid. Having an application properly prepared and carefully submitted can greatly reduce odds of it being returned or delayed. This is where the Union Station Passport Acceptance service excels! In the nearly ten years of providing U.S. Passport service, Union Station has submitted thousands of applications to the Department of State with fewer than 10 returned. [Union Station serves about 100 applicants per week]
Besides the superior attention paid to U.S. Passport applications, Union Station’s location in the Student Union is more pleasant than the average busy Post Office. Walk-in customers may take a number and a comfy seat in the Student Union rotunda if there’s a wait. And there’s a Starbucks Coffee right there, too.
Union Station has a team of nine Certified Passport Agents. Their ready advice to first-time applicants is "Once you have an idea of when you plan to travel, go to the official website and get acquainted with the requirements, download the forms and gather your documentation. Make an appointment and bring it all with you.”
Passport photo service and money orders are also available at Union Station. Required payment methods are: application fee paid by check or money order; photo fees must be with cash.
Final granting and issuance of U.S. Passports rests with the U.S. Department of State. Once an application is in their hands, the time it takes to approve and print is subject to requester volume. During peak travel seasons, the wait from start-of-paperwork until that little gold-embossed blue book arrives can be four to six weeks. So be sure to plan ahead and let a Union Station Passport agents make the application part of the process easy on you.
Passport processing is best done by appointment; call 704-687-5893 to reserve a time. Walk-ins are accepted Monday-Thursday, 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM. Next month, Union Station will hold a Saturday Passport Day for those who have trouble getting to Union Station on weekdays.
More about services offered at Union Station: unionstation.uncc.edu.
Photo caption: Student employee Shawnetta Harper at the Union Station customer service counter. Photo credit: Kat Lawrence.