How long does it take to get a passport? (Expedite your processing)

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If you are planning to travel to a foreign country, you require a valid passport issued by your government. A passport is an important official document that is necessary to travel to a foreign country and return back to the home country.

The term ‘Passport’ is originated from a medieval document that was required in order to pass through the gate (or ‘Porte’) of a city wall or to pass through a territory.

The main purpose of issuing a passport is to verify one’s country of citizenship. The passport looks like a small book that includes your full name, photo, date of birth, gender, passport number, date of expiry and other important details.

So, how do you get a passport? Also, how long does it take to get a passport? Let’s explore all the information on getting a passport in the United States.

Table of Contents

How long does it take to get a passport?

At present, the processing time is 8 to 11 weeks to get a passport in the United States. The US government starts processing your passport application from the day you submit it at a passport agency or centre.

The passport processing time is also different for various situations like urgent travel, emergency, expedited processing and routine processing. The time period for these conditions is illustrated in the table below.

CONDITIONSTIME TO GET A PASSPORT
Emergency (Life-or-Death Emergency Appointments)Within 72 hours
Non-Emergency Urgent TravelWithin 14 Calendar days
Expedited5 to 7 weeks
Routine Processing8 to 11 weeks

The passport processing doesn’t begin immediately after you send an application email or apply for a passport at a local acceptance facility. It only starts once the application is received at a passport agency.

Due to various circumstances, the passport agency is currently avoiding door-to-door timeframes to describe routine and expedited service. Also, the time period for mailing varies across the country so, citizens are required to plan ahead and apply as early as possible.

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How long does it take to get a passport?

How to apply for a Passport? What Documents do I need for a passport?

As we discussed above, there are various conditions to applying for a passport in the United States. And the requirements are different for each category. Let’s find out all the requirements and steps to apply for a passport.

Routine Processing

If you are applying for a US passport for the first time, you are under 16, your passport was issued when you were under 16, your previous passport was lost, stolen, or damaged or your passport was issued more than 15 years ago, you are required to apply in person using Form DS-11.

Processes to apply for the US Passport

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How long does it take to get a passport?

Step 1: Fill out Form DS-11

You need to fill the Form DS-11 for a passport book, a passport card or both documents.

Step 2: Provide Proof of U.S. Citizenship

You can submit your U.S. Birth Certificate, Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization, Certification of Birth or a full-valid undamaged U.S. passport (only for renewal).

Step 3: Submit a photocopy of U.S. Citizenship Evidence

You need to submit a photocopy of the front and back of the evidence you’re submitting. The photocopies must be legible, single-sided and on white standard paper with dimensions 8.5” by 11”.

Step 4: Present your valid ID to the acceptance agent.

You can present a valid or expired passport book or card, fully valid driver’s license, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, Government Employee ID, U.S. military ID, U.S. Permanent Resident Card or various other valid IDs to the acceptance agent.

Step 5: Submit a Photocopy of the ID

You are required to submit a photocopy of your valid ID that you presented to the acceptance agent.

Step 6: Check for any special Circumstances

There are some special conditions or categories for which you may need additional requirements for your passport application. For instance, if your previous passport was lost or stolen, you are applying for a passport for children under 16 and so on, you need to visit the official site for relevant information.

Step 7: Submit your photo.

You must submit one photo with your passport application and also ensure the photo meets all requirements mentioned below.

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Photo Requirements (How long does it take to get a passport?)
  • Your photo must be taken recently (in the last 6 months).
  • Selfies are not allowed.
  • The photo quality must be of high resolution and not blurry, grainy or pixelated.
  • The size requirement is 2×2 inches (51mm x 51mm). The Head must be between 1-1 ⅜ inches (25mm – 35mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Your photo must be printed on glossy or matte photo paper.
  • You are not allowed to submit digitally edited or changed photos.
  • Your facial expression must be neutral. A natural smile with both eyes open is accepted.
  • Eyeglasses, head covering, headphones, wireless devices and camouflage attire are not allowed.

Step 8: Pay applicable fees.

After submitting all documents, you need to pay the application and execution (acceptance) fee. The latest fees are included in the table below.

PRODUCTADULT APPLICANTSCHILD APPLICANTS
Passport Book (Form DS-11)Application Fee: $130
Execution (Acceptance Fee): $35
Application Fee: $100
Execution (Acceptance Fee): $35
Passport Card (Form DS-11)Application Fee: $30
Execution (Acceptance Fee): $35
Application Fee: $15
Execution (Acceptance Fee): $35
Passport Book and Card (Form DS-11)Application Fee: $160
Execution (Acceptance Fee): $35
Application Fee: $115
Execution (Acceptance Fee): $35

Step 9: Submit your application.

After completing the 8 steps above, you are required to submit your completed application including evidence, photo, IDs and fees in person at a passport acceptance facility.

Step 10: Wait for your passport.

As you submit your completed application, it may take 8 to 11 weeks to get a passport. You can also track your application status online.

How long does it take to get a passport expedited?

If you require your passport application to be expedited, you need to show proof of your urgent requirement depending on the services you select. At present, you can apply for emergency (life-and-death situation), urgent travel (non-emergency) and expedited service which are discussed individually below.

Expedited Processing

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How long does it take to get a passport?

You can also apply for an expedited passport that requires almost 5 to 7 weeks for completion. You can choose this service if you are travelling internationally in 5 to 7 weeks from the date of applying.

The application process and requirements are the same as the routine processing however, you are required to pay an additional $60 for the expedited processing.

Urgent Travel (Non-Emergency)

Urgent Travel is categorized as a non-emergency condition which allows citizens to apply for a passport if they have urgent international travel plans within 14 days but not for a life-or-death emergency.

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How long does it take to get a passport?

The majority of passport agencies or centres offer appointments for the Urgent Travel Passport service.

Requirements

  • You must call the passport agencies to make an appointment. (Online Service is not available for Urgent Travel)
  • You must show valid proof of international travel.
  • You must complete a passport application with valid supporting documents like proof of identity, citizenship, photo, government-issued photo identification and other required documents.

After receiving your application, the passport issuing authority will carefully analyze your information and assign an appointment if everything is legit. But, the appointment is not guaranteed.

Emergency (Life-or-Death Emergency)

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How long does it take to get a passport?

If you have proof of the qualifying life-or-death emergency and proof of travel, you can apply for an emergency passport. Almost every passport agencies or centres offer limited appointments for this emergency service.

This service is available to those US Citizens who need to travel internationally in 3 business days because their immediate family member currently residing outside of the United States has died, is dying or sustained a life-threatening illness or injury.

Requirements

  • You are required to apply only if you need a passport to travel within 72 hours due to a qualifying life-or-death emergency.
  • Your immediate family member must be a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling or grandparent.
  • You must call passport agencies or centres to make an appointment.
  • Proof of the qualifying life-or-death emergency (death certificate, statement from a mortuary or a letter from the hospital) and proof of travel are mandatory.
  • You must complete a passport application with valid supporting documents like proof of identity, citizenship, photo, government-issued photo identification and so on.

After you fulfil all the requirements and submit your application, the passport issuing authority will screen your application and if you qualify, you are provided with an appointment. However, the authority doesn’t guarantee to provide a passport in time for your travel.

How long does it take to renew a passport?

It may take 8 to 11 weeks to renew your passport. However, you can go for expedited processing or emergency processing (if you have valid reasons).

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How long does it take to get a passport renewed?

To apply for the renewal, you need to go through the following steps.

Step 1: Fill out Form DS-82

You need to fill the Form DS-82 for the renewal of your expired U.S. passport.

Step 2: Submit your expired U.S. Passport

You must submit your most recent U.S. passport with your renewal application. Make sure the passport is undamaged, issued when you were 16 or older, issued within the last 15 years and issued in your current name.

Step 3: Inform about the name change (if required)

If your legal name is changed, you need to submit a certified copy of the changed name to be included in your renewed passport.

Step 4: Submit your photograph.

You are required to submit one photograph with the renewal application. The photo must fulfil the requirements we discussed above.

Step 5: Pay Applicable Charges.

You need to pay certain applicable charges for the renewal of your passport.

PRODUCTAPPLICATION FEE
Passport Book (Form DS-82)$130
Passport Card (Form DS-82)$30
Passport Book & Card (Form DS-82)$160

Step 6: Submit your completed application via mail.

After completing all the steps above, you can submit your completed application via email to the passport agency.

Step 7: Wait for the Processing.

Once you submit your application, the passport issuing authority will process your application and you will receive your renewed passport.

How long does it take to get a passport card?

A passport card is a documentation provided by the US government that is accepted for domestic flights by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can use this card to enter the U.S. at land-border crossings and sea ports of entry from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda. 

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How long does it take to get a passport?

A passport card can’t be used for international travelling. The processing time for a passport card is 8 to 11 weeks. You can also apply for expedited service by paying an additional fee.

How long does it take to get a passport in Texas?

It requires almost 10 to 12 weeks from the time of application to get a passport in Texas as per routine service. But, with expedited service, you can get it within 4 to 6 weeks door-to-door.

Besides, you can also go for urgent passport requests with scheduled appointments in the nearest passport agencies.

How long does it take to get a passport in California?

The routine processing service in California takes up to a maximum of 11 weeks for processing your passport application from the day the application is received. Likewise, expedited processing may require 5 to 7 weeks.

How long does it take for a passport to arrive?

It may take a considerable time to get your passport delivered. But don’t worry because you can get your passport delivered quickly with the use of Priority Mailing services.

You can purchase Priority Mail Express from the United States Postal service to ship your application faster to the passport agency. The pricing for this service varies across the area of the United States.

Likewise, you can pay $18.32 to get your passport delivered within 1 to 2 days. You can include this fee with your passport application fee.

How long does it take to change the name on the passport?

It may take 8 to 11 weeks to change the name on your passport as per routine processing service. But, if you pay an additional fee of $60, you can get it changed within 5 to 7 weeks.

For changing your name, you need to fill out Form DS-5504, submit your recent U.S. passport, original or certified name change document and a colour passport photo. If you are renewing your passport and want to change your name, you need to fill out Form DS-82 and submit all documents for renewal which we discussed in the renewal section above.

Conclusion

At present, the passport processing time is lengthy as it takes almost 8 to 11 weeks for routine processing and 5 to 7 weeks for expedited processing. That’s why you are suggested to apply 3 to 6 months prior to your international travel.

If you have any emergencies, you can submit valid proof and get your passport quicker. Otherwise, you can pay $60 for expedited services.

The state department is currently working to reduce processing times for both routine and expedited services but it is unsure when things get normal. 

FAQs on How long does it take to get a passport.

How long is it actually taking to get a passport?

It is almost taking 8 to 11 weeks to get a passport in the United States however, you can pay an additional $60 for expedited service which takes 5 to 7 weeks.

What is the fastest way to get a passport?

The fastest way to get a passport is by paying for expedited service which costs an additional $60. With that, you can get your passport within 5 to 7 weeks.

What documents do I need for a passport?

You need to provide proof of your U.S. Citizenship, photograph, processing fees and other relevant documents to get a passport.

How do I know if my passport is ready?

You can track the status of your passport application online and find out whether your passport is ready for delivery or not

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