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  • What Happens if my Passport Doesn't (1)

    What Happens if my Passport Doesn’t Arrive in Time?

    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. Where the heck is your 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 a 1 day. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started – after all, you have a plane to catch!

    58 thoughts on “What Happens if my Passport Doesn’t Arrive in Time?”

    1. I applied on the 02/02/2017 expedit and it’s 03-03-2017 still didn’t receive it yet status show 2-3 weeks and it’s past time already

    2. I did all the paperwork for my daughter’s on March 13th, 2017. Our trip is May 10th in less than 10 days. A week ago they sent us a letter saying we are missing the front and back of my husband’s license, however, this is not true, we did hand that in for both of them. So we overnighted a copy with a check for each a week ago. When I called, they said they still haven’t received our overnight and that they will call us back. I have no idea what to do.

    3. I got mine, husband and daughter passports expedited. Tracker said they received it may 15th. I got theirs in 10 days. Still waiting for mine and it’s June 6th!!!! My trip is in 2 weeks . I am stressed out. Don’t know what to do. They basically said it’s in expedite but they haven’t reviewed it.

    4. Eduardo Garcia

      Yes Rob! That website is of no help! They just tell you the same thing that the people on the phone tell you…..just sitting here in limbo.!. With no idea what’s going on with my expedited passport application.

    5. Same exact situation with me, applied mos ago, I have mine but my minor child does not. We travelling for his bday an I dnt have his PP was told I cant even expedite it, after i was told I could. Super stressed out.

    6. The number is of no help, they are just an answering service. We have a trip in 10 days and my daughter’s passport is not here. The best they can do is send a notification to the passport agency and have them give me a call. I was also told that if I miss the call, I will have to go through the process again and that they can only contact the agency once every 10 days on my behalf. Really?

    7. Johanna morales

      I requested expedited service over a month ago for a trip that departs in 4 days now! I’ve spent a total of 7 hours on hold and have called at least 15 time but no one can give me any status updates, confirm my new picture was received and the website only says “processing”l for the past 2-3 weeks.

      The people at the main line are totallly clueless and every single person has been giving me different information and just telling me to keep checking back!

      I leave in 4 days. The can’t even do the 24 hour emergency passport now because I had to send in all my original documents! What option do I have at this point when the website is useless and customer support has no idea what the actual status is either?

    8. patricia fahey

      Can I collect my passport from the office on the tracker its saying Friday 28th but I’m flying on Wednesday the 26 th what can I do it’s a sickness in the family

    9. Calling the passport office does nothing. I leave in 3 days and still processing. Nobody tells u anything. Got an apt and she told me to cancel cuz i shouldn’t need it. Now i can’t do absolutely anything. And to top it off its for a child. So everybody is set to go but him and i obviously can’t strap him to the couch for 7 days i don’t know what to do. I can’t even get another appointment. He literally hv been crying all week because he feels he’s not going. This totally is unnecessary

      1. So sorry this happen to you as well, my child couldn’t get his either, and it was for his birthday what made it worse being a single parent my 12 yr says ” you to mom, have fun”. What I look like leaving him here on his birthday. I’m still heartbroken.

    10. We’re leaving in 13 days n still haven’t receive it. I also use the expedite service. Wish i knew about expedite agency where i can get it in one day like swift! Can i call them to stop the passport process and use a different agency where i can get it in one day? Anybody knows. I’m tired of waiting n being stress.

      1. This is a good and very common question.Here’s another post that has all of the contact information: https://www.swiftpassportservices.com/passport-arrive-time/
        You can contact them to see the status, and if the timing doesn’t fit for you, you can see about them canceling the process so you can use Swift. Often, the amount of time to cancel the process and get all of you application material in hand is too long to make logistical sense. Let us know what you find out, and we would be happy to help you figure out the best next steps!

    11. Linda L Bramblett

      The answers here just don’t cut it for me. I’ve been calling the National Passport Information Center and it is so useless, we could do without it.

    12. My son goes away tomorrow morning he had a text on the 29th to say his passport will be with him in 24/48 hours so when will he expect it. they said by courier does that Royal Mail

    13. Hi ,

      I filled out my lost passport and had a courier service help me expedite it bc I’m leaving for a trip in 2 days. They received it aug28 and have been processing it. Its still being processed and I ended up just going to the Los Angeles passport agency in the federal building and they told me that they’re still waiting for the state dept to authorize it?!?

      What can I do? They know my departure date and aren’t telling me anything useful!

      1. Hi, this is a common situation, Have you contacted the courier service about the status? The Passport Agency goes through a series of background checks and clearances, and it is not uncommon for a US Department of State clearance on a lost passport replacement to take a little longer than expected. I would work through the courier service you hired, as they should have up to date information.

    14. Hello, I have not received my passport .After police verification ,2 months are gone, but till now there is no news about my passport.

    15. Breanna Garrett

      I expedited my passport almost 4 weeks ago as well as Express shipping when its processed and sent, my trip is in 8 days no with no passport still. I have called the Passport Agency (which is total rubbish) about 8 times now with no one being able to help me. 2 weeks after they recieved my application I recieved an email saying my birth certificate was not valid. Upset and quite pissed off, I called my state of birth and got a new one overnighted to me and then turned around and overnighted it to the passport agency, this happened about a week and a half- two weeks ago. Taking into consideration the time it took to get the proper information to the agency we are looking at about 4 weeks of “processing” as of yet. I called again today and the lady told me “it’s still processing, I’m not even sure if they have recieved your corrispondance”. What the hell did I pay for expedited services?!

      My trip is in 8 days!!! I’m way too stressed for this s***

      The phone number and the website/email is a waste of time in my opinion. Absolutely no help

    16. Nompumelelo precious

      I’ve apply for smart I’d and a passport on the 23 of January I did receive the smart I’d but the passport I didn’t get it

    17. I leave in 2 days 03/28/2019, requested expedited service yesterday through service center. Still shows processing and will receive after my trip. Which when I applied I put what day I was leaving on the application.

    18. It’s been over seven weeks they won’t tell me anything they gave me an appointment at the passport office I went and they said DC has a hold on my passport they won’t tell me why they tell me to come back on the fifth but my travel international travel date is on the 10th I’m so worried I don’t even have the visa to go where I have to go because they have my passport and won’t tell me why

    19. I was told DC was holding mine they won’t tell me why nothing I travel in 2 days!!! This is insane they give zero information!!!

    20. I am leaving in 6 days!!!!! I expedited and sent my passport renewal on April 1 and I am supposed to be leaving on April 17th!! I have called several times but they are absolutely NO help. They all give me the same answer and ZERO information about how I can receive it faster. I have spent extra money on 1-2 day shipping when it’s done being processed.

      I am so stressed out and I am gonna lose so much money. The only appointment I am able to attend is the day before my trip!!!! Is this even enough time? I didn’t have to pay for my PP renewal because my original is under a year old. Do I have to pay for the application at an appointment or will it continue to be free? Or what??? These are all questions I’ve asked on the phone and have gotten answers completely unrelated.

      I don’t know what to do?! Am I out of options???? Please someone help?!

    21. I cleared all of my child support to $0 owed and received a letter confirming I owe no back payments as well.

      I called to check on any holds with the Attorney General today. They told me there is a hold and to call this other number to see what it is for.

      I’ve left voicemails and no reply. Due to high call volume I had to leave vmails.

      I leave in 6 weeks. If this takes 2-3 weeks to clear me and onto the approved list. Is there any possible way of me getting my passport within a week?

      1. I believe the best thing to do would be to contact the state agency that handles child support. Tell them you have a passport application in process and you need them to notify the US Passport Agency about being clear. With your time frame, you should be ok if the state can get the information to the Passport Agency.

    22. The US State department website said my grandma’s passport would be in the mail May 5th (last Sunday), and it’s still not here. My mother tried calling them and they never answer. When is the passport going to arrive? We’re planning our vacation very soon.

    23. I applied for a renewal passport on April 12th and paid to have passport processed in 3 weeks. Passport got shipped on May 7th and USPS has lost the package. I have called USPS many times and they don’t have any idea what town or state my passport is in. Tracking isn’t working either. Today is Monday and my flight leaves early Friday morning. WHAT NOW!!! We have purchased everything! Flight hotel and excursions.

    24. I applied for my son’s second passport on March 16th, we travel on June17th. heard nothing back. I signed up for updates, nothing. I called the National number after 8 weeks and was told to call back the next week as it was still “in processing”. I called back the next week, still no news. I called again and was told that it was still in processing, but he would put a note on the file that I had called and to expect a call back from Tucson, Arizona. Last week I unbelievably received the call from Tucson, and was told that the passport was still being processed but not in Tucson, it was actually being processed in Washington D.C. and I was told to call back and check “next week”. I called today (5/22) and was told, that there is note that I called and you’ve guessed it to “call and check next week”

    25. I applied for my passport June 11th. The next Friday June 21st I was sent a letter advising to send in a statement about my mutilated passport. That same day I sent in my statement in which the passport center received June’s 24th Monday. I have been waiting ever since then to receive an updated status on my passport. I leave in 4 days and I have heard nothing. I called in multiple times and did everything possible to notify them I am leaving in a few days. Please I am freaking out my flight and accommodations are booked. I need this passport. What should I do?

      1. The best bet would be to go to the closest US Passport Agency to you. You can find a list of all of the regional Passport Offices here- travel.state.gov

    26. Yelena Gabriyelova

      Can anyone here at least tell us if they did receive the passport and when? All I see here people are complaining but all the stories are similar. Than you very much!

    27. Mine was processed on June 10th for my renewal but I did the routine service which was a huge mistake. I leave on the 21st of July and called them 2 weeks prior to see if they can expedite it. It’s been 2 days and they still haven’t accepted the payment to expedite the passport and now I’m getting nervous. Can you go to the agency and get one a day later with no appointment ? Even with all my documentation submitted already? There’s no appointments available and I need this quick. I thought about just telling the border agents that my renewal didn’t arrive to me on time but I thinks that’s a bad call.

    28. So I have a week and half before my trip and passport is not here. Would I be able to go to the agency near me with my travel plans and explain to them that I need a passport same day or do they need the documentation that I already sent out for renewal.

    29. Haven’t gotten my passport and it’s been 6 1/2 weeks maybe more. More than 10 days ago my parents paid for expedited but at the time they didn’t withdraw anything yet i think it’s still processing but i already missed my flight yesterday that was booked and everything. Now i need to wait for passport, and book a new flight to europe, and i’m so stressed out. The customer service people told us to call tomorrow because they’ve been closed due to bad floods and weather in New Orleans or wherever (I live in jacksonville Florida though) so i’m guessing in New Orleans is where they make the passports i don’t know, but if i call back tomorrow do you think they will send it within a few days? I mean we’ve paid from the beginning + expedited and the customer service called us in as an emergency obviously and everything. I want to know what might happen or if they can finish it so i can be less stressed and not worry about it not being done in a week or so..

    30. My story is similar. Applied for passport about 8 weeks a go. I checked the website and it still says its processing. I have called but no help. My family traveling plans are this coming weekend. Have any of you gone to the agency and received a passport? I have an appointment but I will need to travel 8 hours in hopes that I can get it so I can join my family. Thanks!

    31. Leo, did you end up getting your passport? If so, what steps did you take to get it in time?

      I leave in 2 1/2 weeks & my parents have not received theirs yet (filed on June 15th).

    32. gary lou jacobsen

      Thanks to the ineptitude of the passport renewal office I will be missing the F1 Grand Prix race in Budapest on 8/3/19 and 8/4/19; the F1 Experience office which sets up these top shelf programs will not apply my 3594.00 fee to a future race. in addition, I lost all my money for my flights, about 1500.00. The passport people logged in my app on 5/28/19, eight weeks prior to sunday 7/28/19, one day prior to my departure when express mail was available. In fact the passport folks took my debit card # on 7/24/19; at that point I thought things to be OK. WRONG! On 7/15/19, at the 2 week juncture prior to my 7/29/19 departure, I started to call the worthless aforementioned numbers just to be told my app was being processed. Not once did I receive a e mail or phone call due to incomplete data. My departure date loomed from the app like a tombstone; you think the processor supervisors would prioritize the workload, placing a premium on the apps with the most immediate departure dates. Unfortunately, todays government workers have a I will get to it when I get to it attitude including vital services such as public health and safety. Lastly, the only solice they offer are the two cheapest words in the English language, I,M SORRY. I would rather be told to F#&$ Off by these lazy, corpulent worthless creatures who are not held accountable for their snafus like workers in the private sector. Since I am retired on a fixed income, the money lost came mainly from my savings. I may never be able to seize another opportunity like this again. In closing, I am bloody tired of living in a country that always PRETENDS to be another. If the folks out there think this is the fairest, most benevolent , most efficient country in the world they need to catch themselves on real fast.

    33. My Sister applied and paid for expedited service on August 19. Her travel date is September 14, 8 days from now. On August 30, she received an email with a form attached to fill out, sign and return. Her previous passport expired in 2010. At some point shortly after that, she began the renewal process, but never completed it. The form they sent was for her to verify her old passport was lost or stolen. She checked off it was lost at home and overnighted it back via UPS to New Hampshire. They received the form from her on Tuesday, Sept 3 (Labor Day weekend the reason for the delay). On Thursday, September 5, she received an email acknowledging receipt of the requested form. She called today, Friday, September 6 and inquired of the status. They said if she doesn’t have the passport by Wednesday, September 11, they will implement “Plan B” (whatever that is).

      In the meantime, I have set up and confirmed an appointment for her in San Francisco on Monday, September 9. With New Hampshire already working on it, will San Francisco be able to intervene? Or do we need to run the course with New Hampshire until Wednesday, September 11?

      Any idea what the specifics of their “Plan B” is?

    34. I’m just super pissed it’s been 11 weeks and they keep telling me check my status. No type of solutions! I’m so glad I didn’t get expedited otherwise I would have wasted money I don’t have……I can’t wait to leave this country I just want to be free.

    35. The National visa center is a joke I sent everything needed and replied to every letter almost as soon as they arrived and 2 years later and still haven’t received my passport. I called various times to try and cancel my application because I want all my important paperwork back and they say for me to keep fighting that I already waited this long. This is something else.

      1. As of May 27, 2020, there has not been an update provided by the US Passport Agency. Please check back here frequently for up to date information.

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