Passport renewal deadlines are getting worse: check status, speed up
If you are planning to leave the country this year, be aware that time is running out to renew your passport. The passport branch of the State Department is is experiencing serious delays:
- Expedited service, which typically takes 2-3 weeks, now takes up to 12 weeks (plus an additional $ 60).
- Current services can take 16-18 weeks.
Note that these 12 to 18 week deadlines start on the day your application is has received, not the day you mailed it, and the U.S. Postal Service is also experiencing significant mail delays. Amusing! You can pay an additional $ 17.56 for one to two days mail delivery of the completed passport.
If you want to know how much it will cost to renew your passport: here is a expense calculator. An adult passport card and book, shipped with express courier delivery, costs $ 217.56.
If you are in a hurry: You can try to make an appointment at a local passport agency (not to be confused with a passport acceptance center), which may require driving or flying to another city. New meeting times open at midnight online and disappear at 12:01 am. You can also call your local Congress representative for assistance in securing appointments, although they are overwhelmed too.
If you have a life-threatening emergency: Try to get an appointment at a passport agency and bring proof of urgency and proof that you are traveling within 72 hours. Also call your congressional representative for assistance.
If you have children: State Department operates in August and September passport fairs for first-time contestants and kids in Valley Center, Calif .; Punta Gorda, Florida; Middlefield, Ohio; Van Buren, Arkansas; and Weatherford, Texas. It’s a wonderful time for a vacation in Van Buren.
If you want to know where your passport is: You can sign up to receive email notifications that track your passport application as it floats through this clusterjam at passport status portal, but be aware that it takes up to six weeks for your request to appear in the system.