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We all might know that in order to travel internationally, we need a passport--that blue little book granting access to discover the rest of the world! While the process to apply for a passport is fairly straightforward, the age of COVID has caused many delays in terms of processing and mailing times. We wanted to share some new information with you, coming straight from the US State Department.
What to Expect
Processing times (up to 12 weeks for routine; up to 6 weeks for expedite) do not include mailing times. Mail times vary and delays have been significant. Plan ahead.
WHAT THEY SUGGEST
More about Status Updates: It may take up to 6 weeks from the day you submit your application until your status is “In Process.” During these 6 weeks, your application is delivered to a mail facility, your payment is processed, and your application is entered into our system. Even if your passport status update says, “Not Available,” your application and supporting documents are safely on their way to us. Check online for your passport status.
Use Self-Service Tools Online: The call center is experiencing extremely high call volumes with longer-than-usual wait times. You can get your questions answered immediately by using one of the self-service tools available on their site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What you see online is the same information that call center representatives can share with you by phone.
Planning to Travel? Apply Early! Apply at least six months before planned travel. Due to limited availability for urgent travel appointments, they cannot guarantee you can receive in-person service at a passport agency or center. They are prioritizing customers with life-or-death emergencies. They do not charge a fee to make an appointment. Visit the Passport Agency and Center page to learn more.
Renew By Mail: Adults with 10-year passports can renew them by mail instead of appearing in person.
We hope this helps you in your future travel planning! When you are ready to get more stamps in your passport, let us know. We love the sound of clerks stamping passports, opening gateways to new destinations!
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