How Long Does A Passport Take?
When you’re considering taking a trip abroad, it’s best to plan early. One of the first questions you should ask yourself is “how long does a passport take?” The amount of time it takes a United States citizen to obtain their passports vary based on a number of factors. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to wait as little as two weeks or as long as two months to get the documentation you need to get out of town.
Routine Service – If you’re a United States citizen applying for a passport, it will likely take you anywhere from four to six weeks for the government to process your passport. Keep in mind that this processing time does not include the time it takes for mail to get from one place to another. If you are mailing in your passport and waiting for it to get mailed back to you, add the mailing times to your wait.
Expedited Service – If you are making an emergency or last minute trip abroad, you don’t always have time to wait for routine service. The United States government understands rush cases and for those cases they offer expedited service.
When you order expedited service, your passport will arrive within three weeks from the day you order it. Unlike the quoted delivery time with Routine Service, the Expedited Service time is from door to door. When your order Expedited Service you are given the option of paying for overnight shipping both ways.
The cost of overnight shipping varies from location to location. In addition to the overnight shipping cost, citizens requiring Expedited Service must also pay an Expedited Service fee in addition to the usual passport fees.
Rush Service – For certain travelers, a two to three week period is still too much of a wait. If you need your passport urgently — within 14 days — you can schedule an appointment with an agent at your local Passport Agent. When you arrive, make sure that you have all of your proper documentation with you including your birth certificate and social security card if this is your first passport.
The passport agent will either approve or deny your rush passport request. If granted a rushed passport, you will be required to pay a fee in addition to the standard passport or passport renewal fees. Once granted a rush passport, you can contact the National Passport Information Center to receive regular updates on the status of your passport.
How Long Does a Passport Take?: Ways to Check on or Speed up Delivery Times.
- Mail your passport in. When you submit your passport to a passport agency, you have to add their processing times to the usual processing times listed by the United States government. Depending on the size of the passport agency and the volume they have to deal with, your passport may not make it to the appropriate government agency in a timely fashion.
If you are renewing your passport, you have the option to renew your passport and avoid any unnecessary or additional delays. However, keep in mind that not all citizens are eligible for mail renewal. To be eligible your old passport must: be undamaged and in your possession and ready to mail, have been issued when you were at least 16 years of age or older, have been issued within the past 15 years, depict your name as it is now. If your name has changed since your passport was issued you must be able to legally document your change of name.
- Check Your application status online. Three to five business days after you have submitted your passport, you can check on its status online. Simply log in to this website and enter your last name, your date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number. Once registered, you will be able to log on and get day to day updates on the status of your passport. If there are any processing delays, you will know immediately.