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Is Your Passport Stuck in Charleston?

When I called the National Passport Center recently to inquire about the status of my passport, the representative told me that my passport was at the Charleston Passport Center, but that the center didn’t have a phone number. I wasn’t surprised — poor customer service and the U.S. government go hand-in-hand, after all.

Still, I didn’t buy the “sorry, no phone number” bit for a second — and I desperately needed to get in contact with someone there regarding my passport, which was having extra visa pages added.

If your passport is also at the Charleston Passport Center and you have an upcoming trip, I have good news and more good news for you. First of all, the Charleston Passport Center absolutely has a phone number; and secondly, the level of customer service there is absolutely impeccable.

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When To Call Charleston Passport Center

I sent my passport in a couple weeks ago to have more visa pages added to it. Unfortunately, although I enclosed my passport and the application and expedited it to the National Passport Center, I forgot to enclose the check. As soon as I realized my error, I contacted the National Passport Center at 877-487-2778 to inquire about where I should send payment to ensure prompt processing.

I ended up calling in several times due to how unhelpful each progressive National Passport Center staff member was. Most told me that there was literally nothing I could do, that I simply had to wait for the government to contact me and ask for payment or, worse, return everything to me and start the process over. I tried not to be too demanding — after all, it was my fault at the end of the day — but I was also frustrated that I couldn’t get a straight answer.

The last time I called the National Passport Center, I asked the lady I spoke with where my passport was being processed. The Charleston Passport Center, she told me. Great, I thought. It will be much easier to deal with a smaller center. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be: She informed me that, unfortunately, the Charleston Passport Center didn’t have a phone number.

Charleston Passport Center Phone Number

I know bullshit when I smell it, so I immediately got onto Google and began looking for the Charleston Passport Center phone number. To my dismay, most of the pages I found directed me to discussion forum threads where others were asking the same question. I pressed on through several pages of Google search results with basically no luck.

No luck, that is, until I happened upon a blog that contained a list of phone numbers bearing Charleston area codes. All of the phone numbers, the blog said, belonged to the Charleston Passport Center, but not all of them worked. Among the phone numbers the blog listed for the Charleston Passport Center were 843-746-1690, 843-746-1691 and 843-746-1692.

Customer Service at Charleston Passport Center

If you get through to the Charleston Passport Center, it won’t be to the center’s customer service department. All of the numbers I listed ring through to the desks of Charleston Passport Center employees.

The woman who answered my phone call was attentive and seemed concerned. When I asked her for an address where I should mail the check, she asked me if I’d prefer to pay by charge, to get the process back in motion immediately. There was obviously no question in my mind!

She took down my name and phone number and told me she was forwarding them to a customer service representative who would call me back. Sure enough, 15 minutes later, I was on the phone when an even friendlier young woman from the Charleston Passport Center’s customer service department.

Incredibly, she not only processed my credit card payment, but also made sure the extra visa pages were added to my passport right then and there. She even offered me an expedited shipping option: This was Thursday afternoon; I had my passport Friday morning!

When Not To Call Charleston Passport Center

Service at the Charleston Passport Center is friendly and quick, especially when compared to the awful service at the National Passport Center. Still, there is a reason the customer service phone number for the Charleston Passport Center isn’t published: Employees at the Charleston Passport Center aren’t generally meant to deal with the public.

In fact, according to some of the forum posts I’d read while searching for the Charleston Passport Center’s phone number, you are technically supposed to call the center only after you have asked your congressional representative to expedite your passport on your behalf. Obviously, I don’t think this is actually the case, given my personal experience to the contrary.

As a rule of thumb, I would contact Charleston Passport Center only if you have imminent travel plans and can’t get anywhere with the National Passport Center. If you aren’t traveling within the next couple weeks, I wouldn’t bother calling Charleston Passport Center, as doing so prevents employees from helping others who are traveling more immediately than you are.

About The Author

is the author of 766 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!

 

informs, inspires, entertains and empowers travelers like you. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here!

 
 
 

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Jones-Fine Art-Design July 10, 2015 at 7:52 am

This is to the passport center. The # 877-487-2778 . the probability of a hang up or dropped call is high.
Good luck.

Kathleen Jones-Fine Art-Design July 10, 2015 at 7:55 am

What was the # you called???

Robert Schrader July 10, 2015 at 7:58 am

The number I called is the one in the post!

Very FranticMom July 29, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Maria in Charleston and Shirley in New Hampsire were great. They called us back and had my son’s passport expedited overnight so we could leave on
our family trip on time. Still WAITING to hear from NPIC after many calls and emails to them. Thanks so much for the number!

Robert Schrader July 31, 2015 at 6:20 pm

😀

ceon August 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

im traveling Wednesday morning at 6:30 and still cant get on to anyone and the agency isn’t any help at all can anyone help me please
.

Katie October 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

All the numbers I called were saying they were disconnected. If you look, the numbers are in numerical order so I just started changing the last number every time I called and I finally got a number to work! 843-746-1682 – This number will actually get you to a live person at this office!

Kristi Baker January 6, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Hi! Can you share those numbers with me?

paulakiger March 9, 2016 at 1:27 pm

UPDATE: Those numbers are now non-responsive (the first two anyway). I called National and at first got a GREAT rep who was extremely helpful, then he said “I need to transfer you to someone else” and she was much less helpful. Thx for your suggestion!

Kellie March 10, 2016 at 9:02 am

Because I missed the call from Charleston regarding my passport and the guy leaving me the message did not leave a call back but only told to call back National if I still have question..I called national and they told me I have no choice but to wait for them to call me again. Frustrating!!!

Robert Schrader March 14, 2016 at 6:47 am

I’m sorry 🙁

Ciara July 7, 2016 at 7:40 pm

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! For this blog and Kathleen at the Charleston passport center, I thought I wouldn’t be able to make an upcoming vacation bc of a delay in my passport documentation but bc of this blog I spoke with Kathleen who processed everything via fax and I should have my passport by Monday !! She was so nice, helpful and caring nothing like the reps I spoke with at the national passport agency

Rosalyn W. July 24, 2016 at 10:10 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! My 18 daughter received a letter stating that she needed 5 documents to prove her identity and they preferred them to be 5 yrs or older…well she would have been 13yrs old! She called the number on the letter that we received…they were no help whatsoever. All they did was tell her to refer back to the letter and they couldn’t give her any other information at all…they couldn’t tell her how long it would take to process after they received the info, if she could fax the info in..nothing! She was leaving in 2 wks to go to Jamaica. I called the number listed here and they were so helpful! I called and spoke with one woman who told me her that should would take her message directly to the call center and they would call her back. A little after 10pm, she received a call from a woman in the call center who told her to disregard the message because of her age and they were processing her application. All of this happened on a Thursday night….by Tuesday afternoon we received her passport!!! We were so relieved and excited!!! I really appreciate this number being posted!!!

Robert Schrader July 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Glad to be of help!

Wieland August 18, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Can’t you read?

Wieland August 18, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Every phone number of the DOS is listed on the DOS website:

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/111809.pdf

Charlotte December 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Thank you for all the help and numbers you posted. I called the number (843)746-1692 and spoke to Andrew. He gave me the number (843)- 746-1705 to contact about passports and delivery. I called a few times and left a message. This morning around 8:15 I called and was able to speak to a representative. She stated the same basic thing I have heard, they are currently still processing my application and to check back again.

Haven’t received a confirmation on when my application will finish processing (it’s been 3 1/2 weeks, expedited) but I thought I should let others know of the direct line I was given!

Thanks again.

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