How Long Does It Take to Get a Passport? (2024)

Whether you’re traveling internationally for business, leisure, or both, a valid passport serves as your “golden ticket” because it enables you to enter and exit foreign countries around the world. A United States passport validates your identity and citizenship, so it’s imperative to apply for or renew your passport well ahead of your travels if possible.

In this post, we’ll provide valuable insights into applying for and renewing your United States passport and the timelines associated with the process. Under most circ*mstances, getting your passport is like renewing your driver’s license; you must be prepared to wait to receive that little booklet that will grant you permission to cross the borders of the continent(s) that are calling.

Applying for or renewing your passport

You can apply for a United States passport if you are a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization or if you are a qualifying U.S. non-citizen national.1 Adults qualify to apply if their most recent U.S. passport was issued when they under the age of 16; if their most recent passport was lost, stolen, or damaged; or if their most recent U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago.2 Adults can also apply on behalf of their children who are under the age of 16. Individuals who are 16 or 17 can apply as well, but they must do so in person using form Form DS-11.3

You’re eligible to renew your United States passport by mail if your most recent passport can be submitted with your application; is not damaged; has never been reported lost or stolen; was issued within the last 15 years; was issued when you were age 16 or older; or was issued in your current name. If your last name has changed due to marriage or divorce, a marriage certificate or divorce decree will be necessary for a successful passport renewal.4

Regardless of whether you’re applying or renewing—and no matter how much of a hurry you may be in to receive your passport—please do yourself a favor and ensure that the information you provide is correct. If the U.S. Department of State notices any missing information or any information you provide is incorrect, you’ll delay receipt of your passport. Should you receive an email or letter from the U.S. Department of State requesting more information, follow the instructions you’re given and respond as soon as possible so processing can continue.5

You’re also encouraged to enroll in email updates to track your application status. You can also track your application status by visiting the U.S. Passport Application Status webpage. Viewing your application status can help alleviate any anxiety or stress you may feel about the waiting period, especially if you’re eager to make travel plans.

United States passport processing times

Four U.S. passport services are available: Routine, Expedited, Urgent, and Life-or-Death Emergencies.

Routine

When applying for or renewing your passport, you should be aware that the U.S. Department of State may take up to two weeks to receive your application. Once it’s received, it will be processed.

According to Travel Gov, the current processing time for routine United States passport applications and renewals is 6 to 8 weeks (that’s anywhere between 42 to 56 days). Mailing times are not included in the processing time, so adding another 7 days for your passport to be delivered to your mailbox would be reasonable.

Expedited

If you’re concerned that you might not receive your passport before your departure, you may want to consider expedited service. Expedited service cuts your wait time by less than half; instead of waiting between 6 to 8 weeks, you’ll only need to wait between 2 to 3 (again, this does not include mailing times).

Expedited service requires an extra $60 fee and must be requested by calling them. For $21.36, the U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consulate Affairs allows you to add a 1-2 day delivery service of your completed passport book.

Urgent

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to travel internationally for an urgent professional or personal matter within 14 calendar days, take comfort in knowing that you can complete an urgent application or renewal request. In this instance, you must make an appointment at a passport agency operated by the U.S. Department of State. Here you can find your nearest passport office or agency. Please remember that U.S. Department of State passport agencies and centers are not the same as acceptance facilities.

Life-or-death emergencies

Should you need to travel to a foreign country because an immediate family member outside of the United States has died, is dying or has been admitted into hospice care, or has a life-threatening illness or injury, you qualify to make an appointment for a passport. An immediate family member is regarded as one of the following: parent or legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, or grandparent. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives are not considered immediate family members by the U.S. Department of State. To learn more about how to proceed with the Life-or-Death Emergencies passport application or renewal process, please click here.

Ideal times to apply for or renew your passport

The U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consulate Affairs is known to change their processing times throughout the year. Demand changes from season to season; U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consulate Affairs notes that the demand for passports tends to be higher from late winter to summer.6 That said, you may receive your passport sooner if you apply between the months of October through December, when the demand for passports has most likely decreased.

Final notes about receiving your U.S. passport

The U.S. Travel Gov makes clear on their website that if you applied for or renewed your passport at the same time as a family member or a friend, you may receive your passport on a different date. If this is the case, don’t panic. Individual processing times may vary.

We’d also like to mention that the U.S. Department of State will email you if you’re in their system and your passport is expiring within the next year.6 If you receive an email from USPassportRenewal@state.gov, take heed of that friendly passport renewal reminder.

When you do receive your passport, be sure to keep it in a safe place and regard it as one of the most essential items you’ll be taking with you on your travels abroad. On this note, we wish you a hassle-free passport application or renewal process and safe travels, no matter where you’re going and what your itinerary entails.

If you're in a hurry to get a passport, let us help you get a new one, renew it, or replace a lost passport as quickly as possible. With GOV+, you can get a passport delivered to your door securely in less than a week without waiting in any lines.

Sources:

1. USAGov. Apply for a new adult passport.

2. Travel - U.S. Department of State. Apply for your First Adult Passport.

3. Travel - U.S. Department of State. Apply as a 16 or 17 Year Old.

4. Travel - U.S. Department of State. Renew by Mail.

5. Travel - U.S. Department of State. Respond to a Letter or Email.

6. Travel - U.S. Department of State. Get Your Processing Time.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Passport? (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tyson Zemlak

Last Updated:

Views: 5616

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tyson Zemlak

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Apt. 662 96191 Quigley Dam, Kubview, MA 42013

Phone: +441678032891

Job: Community-Services Orchestrator

Hobby: Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Metalworking, Fashion, Vehicle restoration, Shopping, Photography

Introduction: My name is Tyson Zemlak, I am a excited, light, sparkling, super, open, fair, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.