A recent blog post on Medium.com titled, “On How the US Passport Office’s Failures Will Help Your Business” caught our attention. The article was written by Peter Shankman, PR entrepreneur, best-selling author and marketing pundit. The upshot: what he experienced while getting a passport for his two year-old child is enough to cure anyone of wanderlust.
Things may have turned out better for Mr. Shankman if he had applied for his daughter's Passport at Union Station in the Student Union. 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 five years of providing U.S. Passport service, Union Station has submitted thousands of applications to the Department of State with fewer than five returned. [Union Station serves 75-100 applicants per week on average; last year’s return rate was only one.]
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’s Certified Passport Agents include Felicia Breeze and Angelia James. Angelia’s 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. ”
Felicia adds that the payment method is a bit different at Union Station. The application fee must be paid by check or money order and execution photo fees are paid in cash only.
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 Felicia or Angelia 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, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Passport photo service is also available.
More about the many services offered at Union Station: unionstation.uncc.edu.