I needed to renew my passport, and because of some upcoming travel I needed to actually go to the US Passport office in Manhattan on Hudson Street at Houston.
If you go online to read about this experience, you may go in expecting a scene like Ellis Island in 1897, with huddled masses yearning to renew their passports. Stories abound of getting in line at 6am or arriving at 8am and not being seen for 2 hours.
You can also make an appointment by calling an automated number (Internet hasn’t yet reached 1897 Ellis Island), though if you were to believe the Internet (terrible idea, generally), the appointment won’t get you seen any faster.
I was doing a renewal, and not a same-day renewal, nor getting a new passport, so perhaps the online tales applied to those situations.
Me? I sauntered in at 1015am, walked up to the window, gave them my $170, proof of my upcoming trip, old passport, 2 photos, and application and in approximately 90 seconds they told me it would be ready the next day. Ta da!
I believe the moral of the story is not to believe what you read online (unless in writing it), and that if you need to renew your passport in NYC, it’s the easiest government-related experience I’ve had.