I consider it a privilege to lead the Atlanta Passport Agency, as we provide a vital service to U.S. citizens with urgent travel needs. Our service to Atlanta area residents and citizens passing through its mammoth airport is illustrated with every application we receive. Just last week, a young man came to us from the airport, where his planned trip to Paris nearly came to an abrupt stop when he noticed his passport had expired. In the past, the young man would have had to have driven more than eight hours to the New Orleans, Miami, or Washington, DC passport agencies to obtain a new passport on such short notice. With the opening of the Atlanta Passport Agency, however, he made a 20-minute drive downtown. I am happy to report that he received a new passport later that evening and was on his way to Paris only a few hours behind his companions.
Emergencies like this happen every day in airports across the country, and the odds of it happening in Atlanta are great, considering that the Atlanta airport serves more than 80 international destinations and is the world's busiest airport in terms of passenger volume. That's why it was so important for Atlanta to have a passport agency. As the last of five passport agencies (public windows were also opened at two existing facilities) made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Atlanta Passport Agency offers expedited passport services for U.S. citizens traveling within 14 days or who have an emergency overseas. In many cases, the agency will offer same or next day pick-up options for customers who would otherwise miss their scheduled travel. For applicants needing less urgent assistance, the local network of non-Department passport application acceptance facilities (such as clerks of court, libraries and post offices) will continue to serve Atlanta area residents.
The new agency is conveniently located downtown at 230 Peachtree Street NW. Having visited family in Atlanta, I know that there are approximately 55 thoroughfares containing the name Peachtree in the metro area, but rest assured, our agency is located on the "real" Peachtree Street, which serves as the heart of the city and is the street around which the city has grown. If all else fails, you can take public transportation; the Atlanta facility is directly atop MARTA's Peachtree Center stop. Many critics of MARTA often lament that the transit system "only goes to the airport." Thankfully, residents needing our services will be relieved to find that MARTA now goes to the Atlanta Passport Agency and the airport.
Whether you arrive by car or by train, the Atlanta Passport Agency staff looks forward to serving residents of the region and those traveling through the busy Atlanta airport during the upcoming summer travel season!