Have trouble renewing your expired passport or obtaining a new one? You are not by yourself. Increased passport applications and renewals due to the surge in demand for international travel have resulted in higher wait times. Travelers should be aware that the U.S. State Department has announced that normal passport processing will now take 10 to 13 weeks, while expedited processing—which will cost an extra $60—will take 7 to 9 weeks. Furthermore, shipment may take an additional several weeks, not included in those dates.
When finalizing travel arrangements abroad, Americans are urged by U.S. officials to confirm their passport expiration date. If you have already purchased flights, proceed with renewing your passport well in advance of your journey. We’re aware that you have inquiries. For example, when will this backlog end? How can candidates verify the status of their passports? If your passport hasn’t been returned yet, what should you do? It’s all covered here.
Why Do Passport Requests Take So Long at the Moment?
Applications for new passports and passport renewals are now being accepted by passport offices and centers, as usual. Your passport will simply take longer to arrive than it has in the past. A few months ago, the State Department had a six- to nine-week window for normal passport processing; now, it has a 10- to 13-week window. Instead of three to five weeks, the expedited processing timeframe is now seven to nine weeks.
Therefore, the length of your wait may vary based on when you apply for a new passport or passport renewal. Passport processing times are posted on the State Department’s website. It should be noted that processing timeframes start when the passport office or agency gets your application, not when you mail it. Again, mailing your passport back to you is not included in those schedules and might add many more weeks to the process.
Currently, you can only apply in person or by mail for a new passport or to renew an existing one. To handle the backlog of previously submitted applications, the State Department’s online passport renewal system, which it had been testing, was blocked to new users on February 7.
When does this backlog expire?
Throughout the year, passport processing times always vary based on demand. However, as we approach what is anticipated to be the biggest summer travel season on record and travel recovers from the pandemic, the State Department predicts that wait times will only rise more. You have a few options, depending on when you’re flying, if you have a trip coming up and you don’t have a passport or yours has expired.
Pro tip: Even if your passport expires after your next overseas trip, you could still need to renew it sooner. This is because a passport must remain valid in many countries for a period of three to six months after the traveler’s intended departure date. If your passport expires within the next three months, for instance, the majority of European countries will not allow you to cross the border or travel by air.
How Can I Find Out If My Passport Is Valid?
Check the Status of Your Passport Online
Have you applied for or renewed your passport already? If so, do you know where it is now? It is simple to verify. This link will allow you to quickly check the status of your passport. Simply submit the form after filling it out. Two weeks after applying, you can begin doing this.
Receive Notifications via the Passport Status Online System
Additionally, you can use the Online Passport Status System to register for automated email updates regarding your status. Finally, to find out the status of your passport, you can also call 1-877-487-2778 a call. Check your status by logging into your MyTravelGov account if you renewed your passport online before the conclusion of the most recent pilot program. If not, you ought to get email updates automatically on your application and the time when your passport is prepared.
Did you pay the $60 expedited service cost and still not receive expedited service? That cost is refundable upon request. No further passport costs or travel expenditures will be refunded by the Department of State.
What Takes Place Should My Passport Not Arrive on Time?
Don’t postpone your vacation just because you checked the status of your passport application and it doesn’t appear that you will have your new passport in time for it.
If your passport hasn’t arrived five days before your trip, even though you’ve previously submitted your renewal application, you might be qualified for an in-person appointment. If so, you must make an appointment with the National Passport Information Center by phone at 1-877-487-2778; do not simply go into the passport office.
You can expedite the processing of your passport application by calling the National Passport Information line if you want to go abroad within the next six to fourteen days. However, the State Department has reported that customers are having to wait a long time to get through when attempting to contact them, so be ready to be patient.
Wait times for US passports have ended
Social media could also be helpful in this case. If everything else fails, you can request assistance from your local congressional office. One way to find out the status of your application and often speed up the renewal process is to contact the office of your local senator or representative in the United States. Congress.gov makes it simple to identify your representative in Washington, D.C., and to obtain basic contact details.