Refunds for passport rush fees

Let's just say you paid an extra $60 to receive your passport in three to four weeks instead of the usual 10 to 12 so you could go to Mexico this summer. Let's even say you were getting passports for your family of four, which brings those expedite fees up to $240. Now pretend four weeks have gone by and you still don't have your passport, you're supposed to leave for your trip in three days, and though you've tried, you can't squeeze one bit of information out of the Passport Agency.

If the situation I've just described is similar to your own, you probably rejoiced over this week's announcement that the new passport rules have been relaxed through September 30, which means your family trip isn't ruined after all. You can all go ride horses on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, soak up the sun by the pool, and wander the cobblestone streets.

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Now you can even get back those expedite fees that, in the end, expedited precisely nothing. This USA TODAY article has the scoop on how to go about requesting a refund, and at $60 per passport, it's certainly worth the effort.

I scoured the Department of State website looking for an official summary of the process, but didn't find anything. In a generous mood, I'd say this is only because the refund offer was just announced, but the cynical part of me knows that nothing is posted yet because the department doesn't want you to know you can get that money back.

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