Whether your upcoming overseas trip is months, weeks or days away, you’ll need a current passport. While your departure date doesn’t change the fact that you need a passport, it does make a difference on how you go about getting your passport in time. Passport wait times can range from a few days to several months, depending on the passport processing option you choose.
Estimated Wait Times
Processing through the U.S. Department of State is the typical route many folks take for obtaining or renewing their passports, although it also tends to be the slowest.
- 6 to 8 weeks: Routine processing from the Department of State through mail
- 2 to 3 weeks: Expedited processing from the Department of State through mail
- Less than 2 to 3 weeks: Expedited processing from the Department of State with in-person appointment
You can check the most current wait times on the Department of State website, although routine processing times are not likely to get much quicker than several weeks.
The quickest option from the Department of State can only promise “less than two to three weeks,” and it requires an in-person appointment at a passport agency or center. The expedited processing via mail or in-person also calls for an expedited fee.
How to Track Passport Status
If you go with routine or expedited passport processing from the U.S. Department of State, you can check on the status of your passport online or by phone.
- Check the status online at the U.S. Passport Application Status page.
- Check the status by phone by calling the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778.
Remember that it can take seven to 10 days for passports being processed to show up on the system.
Need Passport Even Faster?
If even the fastest Department of State processing won’t deliver your passport in time, or you want to avoid some hassle, you can always turn to an expedited passport service. Expedited services, like Swift, can renew a passport or process a new one in as little as one business day.
- 1 business day: Fastest expedited processing from Swift
- 2 to 12 business days: Other expedited processing options from Swift
Helpful Contact Info
If you have additional questions about passport processing or still wondering how you’ll ever get your passport in time, a few organizations may be able to help.
- Searchable list of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Missions: usembassy.gov
- National Passport Information Center: 877-487-2778
- Swift Passport and Visa Services: 877-917-9438
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.