How to Check Your U.S. Passport Status

Applicants may be interested in checking their passport status once they submit their documents to their local passport processing facilities. For petitioners who are expecting to travel soon, the weeks between when they officially submit their passport documents to the federal government and when they receive their passports can be stressful. This is especially true for first-time applicants who are sometimes overwhelmed by the newness of these procedures and the steps they must complete. However, candidates can alleviate some of this anxiety and stay up-to-date on their US passport status by using some of the government’s convenient check-in programs.

There are several different ways that applicants can check a passport status from the comfort of their own homes. These processes are quick and simple to use. Furthermore, candidates who review their passport application status can lessen some of the pre-travel stress they are under by eliminating this one aspect they have to worry about. Whether applicants are submitting renewal requests for passport cards or first-time applications for passport books, they never have to be confused about when they can expect their documents to arrive.

What information do I need to check my passport status?

There is certain information that applicants need to submit in order to check their US passport application status. By requiring petitioners to provide specific documentation to review the progress of their requests, it helps to ensure that the process is secure. Some applicants may be worried about the security regarding how they request information pertaining to their applications statuses. However, candidates should keep in mind that this process is fully secure, and these status checks are protected.

In any case, petitioners who wonder how to check a passport status need to have several pieces of information prepared before they can submit their requests. Examples of the information that will be requested include:

  • Last name: Applicants need to provide these federal systems with their last names before they can review their US passport status. Candidates who have any suffixes, such as Jr., II or Sr. must also be sure to include these in their requests. Likewise, petitioners who have hyphenated last names need to be sure to include the hyphen with their requests.
  • Birthdate: Petitioners need to submit their birthdates with their requests. The information must be provided in order, including the month, date and full, four-digit year.
  • Social Security Number (SSN): Candidates do not need to report their entire SSNs. Instead, they must provide the last four digits of their identification numbers in order to access information regarding their passport application status.

Where can I check my passport status?

There are two main ways that applicants can check a US passport status after they officially file their requests, and both of these options are convenient for petitioners. First, applicants have the opportunity to use the government’s passport status tracking feature by calling the office. With this process, applicants call the National Passport Information Center and speak with customer representatives. This facility is open throughout the week and on Saturdays. However, applicants need to remember that these offices are unavailable on Sundays and all federal holidays. While there are limitations regarding when exactly applicants can utilize these services, this option may be appealing to petitioners who want to speak directly with representatives about their document statuses.

Alternatively, applicants may want to check their passport application status online. This option is available to petitioners who choose to utilize the Online Passport Status System. With this option, candidates can check their application statuses at any time. However, the process takes between seven and 10 business days from when candidates first applied for their petitions to register in the online tracker. There are additional advantages available to candidates who use the online tracking system. Once petitioners first locate their US passport status, they can register through the site to receive updates regarding any future updates on their applications. Notification developments are emailed to petitioners, so they can always be aware of their passport statuses in the future.

How do I check my US passport renewal status?

Applicants can check their passport renewal status by using the same procedures they would implement when checking their first-time applications. Candidates can check passport renewal status by utilizing the government’s online or phone systems. Likewise, petitioners need to provide the same information they would need to submit when checking initial passport applications. They will be required to include their last names, dates of birth and the last four digits of their SSNs.

What do I do if I think my passport status is incorrect?

Sometimes, candidates may believe that their passport application status is not being properly reported online or when they speak with government representatives. This confusion usually arises when the online or telephone portals report that the candidates’ passports have been shipped to the requesters. Usually, applicants should allow 10 business days for their passport books and cards to arrive at the designated mailing addresses they provided when they filed their applications. However, petitioners who do not receive their documents within these days and do not see updates in their US passport application status should contact the National Passport Information Center.

Once applicants contact these passport status tracking representatives, the petitioners will be prompted to fill out government form, DS-86. This document states that petitioners never received their passports. Once applicants fill out these forms, the candidates should have new passports issued to them. In any case, it is important that petitioners are proactive and check their US passport status consistently until they obtain their documents. Candidates who do not report undelivered passport books and cards within 90 days from when their passports were issued will need to reapply and pay for their passports again. Therefore, applicants need to be sure that they stay aware of when they should be expecting their new passport documents.

Can I check my passport status if my documents were lost or stolen?

If travelers misplace their passports or realize that their documents were stolen, there is no way to check their passport status to find out where these documents are located. However, individuals must note that if their passports are returned to a federal agency or office, the government will notify the passport holders that their documents have been located. Regardless, applicants should be sure to report their misplaced documents as soon as possible to help ensure that unauthorized users cannot travel with or otherwise misuse their passport books and cards.