Passport Renewal Timeline: Here’s How to Get Your Renewal Quick
Passport processing times have reached an all-time high. The US Department of State recently increased standard passport processing times to 18 weeks. If you need to renew your passport for an upcoming trip, make sure to plan ahead of time.
How much time does it take to renew a US passport?
Before the pandemic, the routine passport processing used to take 4-6 weeks. However, during a government shutdown or a busy travel season, some people reported passport processing times of up to ten weeks.
The United States Department of State has now increased processing times to 18 weeks. This 18 week timeframe includes up to 12 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for front and back mailing times. Therefore, travelers should plan ahead of time and apply as soon as possible or consider using an expedited processing option.
As previously reported in our other blogs, the State Department anticipates a record number of passport applications this year. Unfortunately, this influx of applications is causing passport processing times to lengthen.
How to Renew US Passport in a Short period:
What if you are unable to wait 18 weeks to get a renewed passport? It is always best to be cautious and apply well in advance. But, don’t worry; there is a way to “cut in line” and get your passport renewed quickly. Here’s how you can renew your passport quickly.
In three ways, you can expedite your passport renewal process,
- Passports expedited at a Post Office
- Passports expedited at a Passport Agency
- Using a Passport Express Service
In the following subheadings, we have given the detailed passport renewal timeline of each method.
Passports expedited at a Post Office:
You can use this method if you have time until 12 weeks and money in your budget.Then, pay the $60.00 expedite fee and have your application expedited at the post office. Here’s how to do it:
- Pay the additional fee of $60.
- If you’re mailing your application from home, write “EXPEDITE” on the outside of the envelope. Remember that you can only apply by mail if you are renewing your passport and meet specific requirements. Otherwise, you must apply at a post office or another passport acceptance facility.
- The passport renewal process time is listed on the website of the Department of States. Currently, it takes 12 weeks from door to door. This 12-week timeframe includes six weeks for processing and six weeks for front and back mailing time.
Passports expedited at a Passport Agency:
If you need your passport right away, locate the nearest regional passport agency and schedule an appointment. There are numerous passports acceptance facilities located across the country; you can find the one closest to you on the State Department website. The additional $60 expedite fee remains in effect.
You can get your passport in 8 days or less at a passport agency, depending on how quickly you need it. However, appointments are extremely limited, and the agency may ask for some proof regarding travel.
Currently, if you are leaving the country in 3 days, or if you need a foreign visa within the next month, you are eligible for a passport agency appointment.
Using a Passport Express Service:
Are you finding it difficult to get to the passport agency or don’t want to deal with the hassle? Use an expediting passport service online.
Due to heavy traffic, mail delivery times may vary, and you can experience a significant delay in the process. Make a plan ahead.
US State Department recommends you to:
- Send your application to them via trackable mail so that you can monitor its progress before it enters our system. This can be accomplished whether applying in person or by mail.
- Pay an additional $17.56 for one or 2-day express delivery of your renewed passport.
Recent Update on Status Checking:
Your application status will be changed to “In Process” after six weeks.
Your application will be delivered to a mail facility during these six weeks, your payment will be processed, and your application will be entered into the State Department system.
If your passport status update indicates “Not Available,” this means your application and supporting documents are on their way to State Department.
There are three ways available to check your passport status. Best among them is to check it online. You can know how to check the status in other Click2Visas blogs.
Is FedEx Office a passport processing facility?
No, the FedEx Office does not accept passports. An Acceptance Facility is typically found in a county clerk’s office or a US Post Office.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Passport Services/Customer Service, designates many post offices, clerks of court, public libraries, and other states, county, township, and municipal government offices to accept passport applications on its behalf.
You can find a passport acceptance agent near you by clicking here.
How to renew a passport card quickly?
A passport card is a credit-card-sized US passport that, like a passport book, serves as proof of US citizenship and identity but can only be used to re-enter the US at land border crossings and seaports of entry from Mexico, Bermuda, Canada, and the Caribbean.
There is no separate process for renewing a passport card. Americans must follow the same procedure as for passport book renewal.
What should I expect if I am applying at an acceptance facility?
If you must apply in person, we recommend that you do so at a facility that accepts applications. Children under the age of 16, first-time applicants, and those who have lost or had their passports stolen must apply in person.
Post offices, clerks of court, libraries, and local government offices are examples of such locations. Before you apply, check with your local acceptance facility to ensure it is open. You will require appointments in some locations to allow for social distancing.
If you want to apply at a post office, you must first schedule an appointment through the USPS.com website.
When will the State Department resume normal passport processing time?
According to the State Department, they will continue to work to reduce processing times for both routine and expedited service while protecting the health and safety of their employees and customers. They will re-evaluate processing times regularly and reduce them as resources permit.
Can I get a passport fee refund if I don’t get my passport by the deadline?
If you have paid $60 expedited service fee when you applied and did not receive expedited service, you might request a refund. However, if you miss your flight, State Department will not refund any additional passport fees or travel expenses.
To know how to apply for a refund, click here.