It's no secret that having a valid passport is crucial to any successful trip abroad, though it is also very useful for a variety of other situations that call for detailed identification. And due to heightened security restrictions, people of all ages must now carry passports to enter the United States. Nevertheless, those who find themselves in sudden need of a passport for themselves or a family member may be out of luck. The average processing and shipping time is more than six to eight weeks, and in some situations it can take even longer. Unfortunately, there are a variety of cases where the need for a last-minute passport arises, and understanding how expedited passport services work is key to making it happen.