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How Long Does It Take to Get a U.S. Passport?

June 13, 2012

One of the most common questions we get at Express Passports is, “How long will it take to get a U.S. passport?”

If you are applying through the U.S. Passport Office, you should expect to wait 4 – 6 weeks to get your passport. Depending on the time of year and the volume of applications the Passport Office has to handle, it can take as much as 8 – 10 weeks.

This means that it is a good idea to apply for your new U.S. passport, or apply to renew your old passport, as soon as you can. The U.S. Passport Office also sends your documents and passport back by mail, so you probably want to spring for the extra shipping costs of a courier service, to make sure your passport gets back to you safely. Remember – you need your passport if you are going to cross any international border, or even if you are just leaving the U.S. mainland (for example, travelling to Puerto Rico or Hawaii).

If you need your passport sooner than the U.S. Passport Office’s usual processing time allows for, you can pay extra for them to speed up the process. Even so, you will only save about 2 weeks off the usual wait, and it’s not guaranteed that you will get your passport back before you leave, if you only have a couple of weeks.

Many people are surprised by how long it can take to get a U.S. passport through the usual channels. However, it’s not the State Department's fault.  These days, more people are travelling than a decade ago. And the Passport Office is processing twice as many applications for new passports or renewed passports than they did then. However, their funding has remained at basically the same level as it was in 2002.

So, the office is doing twice as much work, with almost the same number of staff. The volume alone does not allow the Passport Office to process the applications quickly, let alone within a week or two – a service many people find themselves needing.

It’s no wonder passports get delayed and lost!

This is why so many of our customers came looking for the passport services that ExpressPassport.com provides, especially expediting passports.

Our web site guides you through the complicated process of applying for a passport, or renewing the passport you have. If you encounter a problem or have a question, you can contact ExpressPassports.com using an 800 number or through email.

Once we receive your passport application, we hand-carry your application through the different stages of the passport agency.  If we encounter challenges, we have nurtured good relationships with the Passport Office personnel, so that we can resolve any issues quickly and efficiently.

 As soon as we receive your passport, we can send your passport back to you via FedEx.

And the best part is that all this – hand-carrying your application through the process, standing in the various lines, dealing with whatever issues might arrive, and getting your valid passport back to you – can be done within 24 hours, instead of 6 weeks! 

Interested? Click the link to use our expedited passport service!