You’ve purchased your international flight tickets, booked your overseas hotel, and even bought a few travel guides – you’re all set for your next trip! At least you thought you were…
Worry starts to set-in when you realize that you applied for your passport weeks ago via the government, and it still hasn’t arrived. Without it, there’s no chance of leaving the country, but you really don’t want to cancel this trip. Why does it take so long to get a passport?
Waiting for the arrival of your passport right before a trip can put you on pins and needles, especially when your travel date keeps drawing nearer.
“What happens if my passport doesn’t arrive in time?” is one of the most common questions we get asked. Here’s our best advice for the traveler who’s still waiting on their passport.
When is my Passport Expected to Arrive?
When you apply for a new passport or passport renewal, keep a keen eye on the processing times for the three different options (routine passport services, expedited passport services, and expedited at an agency).
For routine passport services, you can expect to wait between four to six weeks, around three weeks for expedited passport services, and eight business days for passports expedited at an agency.
That means you shouldn’t expect your passport any sooner than the minimum processing time, and it could take even longer if the paperwork wasn’t filled out properly the first time.
You’re going to be best off using an expedited passport service or expedited service at an agency if you’re trip is less than one month away from the date you’re applying for your passport. This ensures that you’ll receive your passport in time, and takes a lot of stress out of the travel planning process.
How Can I Track my Passport’s Status?
You can track the status of your passport online at the US Department of State’s passport status page. It typically takes 7-10 business days after you‘ve applied in order for your application to be trackable online. It’s possible that you will be able to track it sooner if you’ve opted for expedited services, and have sent your info via overnight delivery.
Go to the United States passport application status page, and enter your information to see exactly where your passport is in the process, and if it’s already headed your way.
You can also opt-in to receive automatic email updates on the status of your application by entering your email address after locating your pending application in the online passport status system.
How can I Contact the National Passport Information Center?
If you’re scheduled to leave for a trip in seven days or less and you’re still waiting to receive your passport, make sure to contact a customer service representative at the National Passport Information Center. They can help you track the status of your passport, and let you know where it’s at in the process. Below is the number you can call for the National Passport Information Center, as well as the hours they’re open.
1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY) to speak to a Customer Service Representative (Se habla español):
Monday- Friday 7:00 am to 10:00 pm Eastern Time
Saturday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Eastern Time
*Excluding Federal Holidays
You’re more likely to obtain information about your passport status if you call rather then requesting information over email. It typically will take 24 hours or more to receive a response over email. The automated phone passport tracking system is available 24/7; to speak to a representative, call during business hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday (except federal holidays).
How Can I Start Applying for my Passport?
Let’s face it, applying for a passport can be a hassle. There’s enough stress that comes with planning a trip, and there’s no need to add another worry to the list.
Avoid any confusion, and any chance of your passport arriving late by contacting Swift Passport Services today. Swift can help you get your passport in as little as 3-4 business days. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started – after all, you have a plane to catch! Have questions? Complete the contact form below and we will do our best to assist you.