Passport Application Wait Times

“How long does it take to get a passport?” is a question that many first-time and returning applicants may wonder when they apply for these international identification cards. However, it is important for candidates to understand that the answer to this question depends largely on how quickly they need their documents and how much they decide to pay for the process. When candidates apply to obtain a US passport, there are various ways they can speed up the process to receive their documentation as quickly as they need it.

Whether petitioners want to know, “How long does it take to get a new passport?” or the wait time associated with a passport renewal, they need to be aware that these answers can vary. Regardless, there are some general time frames during which applicants can expect to receive their documents. The sections below outline some of these typical wait periods. However, applicants need to remember that the time it takes to process a passport application and issue associated travel documents varies depending on demand. Therefore, during seasons when the U.S. Department of State receives more applications than normal, the wait time could be even longer for petitioners. As a result, applicants should submit their requests as soon as possible to ensure that they have their documents in time to travel abroad.

How long does it take to get a passport book?

Often, petitioners who ask, “How long does a passport take to get?” are inquiring about the processing and delivery times that are associated with the passport book. This traditional identification document is what U.S. citizens need to obtain if they plan on traveling abroad to any country via air travel. In any case, there are specific passport books that applicants need to obtain. The type of passport depends on the age of the petitioner, since there are both child and adult passport books available to applicants. However, once candidates submit their applications to the passport office, their wait times should be similar, regardless of their ages.

Generally, candidates who apply for a passport using the standard processing option can expect to receive their documents within four to six weeks from when their petitions are received. Furthermore, first-time applicants and children who are younger than 16 years of age can submit their requests at the following types of passport acceptance facilities:

  • Post offices
  • Public libraries
  • Government offices

How long does it take to get a passport card?

When candidates wonder, “How long does it take to get a US passport card?” they often ask this question because they believe the wait time is different than it is for a passport book. However, this is not the case. The processing times that are associated with the passport book are similar for passport card applicants. Therefore, candidates should expect to receive their documents within four to six weeks from when the passport office receives their completed requests for documentation. Similar to with the passport book, these wait times pertain to both adult and child petitioners.

Furthermore, candidates who apply for a passport card need to be sure that these documents are the correct ones they need to travel abroad. The US passport book is the only federal identification that citizens can use when they take international trips by airplane. However, passport card holders can still participate in some international travel using this document but their transportation can only be via land or sea. Applicants who travel using these methods may use their passport card to travel to the following destinations:

  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Bermuda
  • Caribbean countries

How long does it take to get an expedited passport?

“How long does it take to get your passport expedited?” is a question petitioners may ask when they need their documents in a short period of time. Sometimes, candidates learn that they need to take a last-minute international trip. This can be due to situations including personal illnesses, family emergencies or business trips that applicants had not anticipated taking. In any of these situations, there are ways that petitioners can get an expedited passport so that they are able to travel abroad with the proper documentation.

Applicants may have the option to get a US passport expedited if they need to receive their documents less than a month from when they apply. In most instances, petitioners can file their requests online with a verified third-party provider. This process is safe and efficient. Furthermore, candidates who take advantage of this option can expect to receive their passports more quickly than if they selected to receive their documents using standard processing times. However, petitioners should also be aware that there is an associated expedited passport fee that they will need to pay for these additional services. This fee varies, depending on how quickly applicants need their documents. Furthermore, candidates who must have their international identification documents at earlier dates can also pay to have their passport books and cards processed and mailed quickly by selecting express mailing services.

How long does it take to get a passport renewed?

Once candidates have had their passports for some time, they will eventually need to fill out a passport renewal form to ensure their documents are current and valid. Generally, adult applicants’ documents are valid for 10 years. However, petitioners may have the opportunity to renew their books and cards earlier in certain situations. In any case, petitioners may want to know, “How long does it take to get a passport renewed?” This question is especially relevant to applicants who are preparing for international travel around the time when their current takes between four to six weeks.

However, travelers who wonder how to renew a passport and how long this process takes must also be aware that there may be international requirements they need to meet to travel to different countries. For example, some places around the world require that potential travelers have valid passports for at least six months before they can cross the borders. This is true even for petitioners who have had valid passports for years before they had their passport renewed. Therefore, applicants should take this information into consideration when planning trips abroad. If candidates have specific questions about a particular country, they can usually review passport entry requirements for that location online.