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Update on U.S. Passport Operations in Response to COVID-19

July 15, 2021 • 10:38 am CDT
(Vax Before Travel)

The US Department of State issued a notice on July 12, 2021, stating 'mail delays are impacting when we receive passport applications for processing. Our processing times begin the day we receive your application, not the day you mail it.'

The State Department says passport applicants can expect the following level of service:

  • Routine service can take up to 18 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 18-week timeframe includes up to 12 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end.
  • Expedite service (for an additional $60) can take up to 12 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 12-week timeframe includes up to 6 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end.
  • Our processing times (up to 12 weeks for routine; up to 6 weeks for expedite) do not include mailing times. Mail times vary and delays have been significant. Plan ahead.

Furthermore, due to limited availability for urgent travel appointments, we cannot guarantee you can receive in-person service at a passport agency or center. We are prioritizing customers with life-or-death emergencies. We do not charge a fee to make an appointment, says the State Department.

Visit a Passport Agency to apply at least six months before a planned trip abroad to learn more.

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