How to Find Out if Your Passport Application is Being Processed

Jan 19, 2024 By Triston Martin

Traveling abroad means trying new things, experiencing local cuisine, and pushing yourself to new limits. These excursions may be unforgettable, but there is some stressful planning and preparation involved. You need to have a current passport to go abroad. Obtaining a new or updated passport might take as many as eight weeks with regular processing periods. So, what should you do if your passport is delayed?

What is the Duration Required to Obtain a Passport?

With ordinary processing, obtaining a new or updated passport typically takes between six and eight weeks to process. You may be on the verge of missing your trip entirely or coming near, depending on how long in advance you apply. By paying rush costs, utilizing a passport expeditor, or going in person to a passport bureau, you can expedite your application.

How to Find Out if your Passport Application is Being Processed

To monitor the progress of your passport application, the U.S. State Department provides phone numbers and online facilities.

Register for updates via email. Enroll in email updates on the status of your passport application first.

Passport Status System Online

By entering your last name, birth date, and the last four letters of the number on your Social Security card on their website, you may check the progress of your application.

Make a call to the NPC (National Passport Information)

You can also give the National Geographic Information Center a call at (877) 487-2778 if you are unable to receive the information you want.

Descriptions of Status Updates

One of the following descriptions can appear when you check the progress of your travel document application. Here's what these phrases represent for your application, even if they could sound vague or unclear.

Not Accessible

Your application is now on route to an intake center or passport agency. If there is a technical issue with the website, you will also see this word. Consider returning in a few days. An organization or processing facility is evaluating your application. The duration of the "in process" phase is contingent upon the service option you have chosen (e.g. standard or accelerated).

Application Accepted

Your passport application has been completely reviewed, and printing will shortly start.

Mail-order Passport

Your mailing address has been mailed the new passport. For a tracking number, check the Electronic Passport Status System. After it is shipped, if you choose two-day service, you should have your passport in two days. Documentation supporting the request was mailed. The accompanying paperwork was sent by First Class Mail. Your passport arrives separately from these documents.

If My Passport is Delayed, what will Happen?

Although everything about this process usually goes without a hitch, occasionally your passport fails to reach you in time. "My passport is still not here, what can I do?" is a common question among travelers who haven't gotten their passport on time.

  1. Call the National Passports Information Office at (877) 487-2778 if your application for a passport status changed to "Mailed" two weeks ago and you haven't gotten it yet.
  2. The customer care representative will assist you in filling out Form DS-86 when you call. This signed declaration certifies that your passport has not been issued and will no longer be valid for travel. In six weeks, an alternate passport will be issued. However, expedited processing cuts the period down to three weeks.
  3. Reapplying for a passport may be necessary based on when you want to travel. If you will be traveling abroad in less than 14 days, adhere to the instructions for Urgent Travel listed below.

How to Expedite a Visa Application in Simple Steps

There are actions you may take to speed up your passport application if you need it in a hurry.

Obtain accelerated processing.

Expedited processing is available from the US Department of State for an additional $60 over the usual application fees for passports. The wait period is now only two to three weeks.

Order delivery within two days.

After it is mailed, it may take a maximum of two weeks to obtain your passport. The United States Postal Service offers 1 to 2-day delivery for an additional $19.53. Passport cards cannot be used with this service, only passports.

Change the type of application service you use.

Even if you didn't initially purchase two-day shipping or expedited processing, you can upgrade either of the add-ons by calling (877) 487-2778 and paying the required costs.

Send in your application by Priority Mail.

Applications may not arrive at a travel bureau or processing facility for up to two weeks. You can shorten the time it takes to obtain your new passport by mailing your application via the U.S. Postal Service by using Priority Mail Express. This expedites the delivery of your application to a processing location. The cost varies according to your location in the United States.

Hasten in the organization. You can schedule a time to meet with a visa agency or institution to obtain your passport if you have an urgent trip planned for the next 14 days.

Travel appointment for an emergency.

If a traveler must travel abroad within the following four working days and it is an emergency involving a member of their immediate family, they are eligible to obtain a new passport.

The Bottom Line!

The last thing that you'd like to do is put off your trip because your passport didn't arrive in time after planning it and taking time off work. You have the option to pay to accelerate the processing of your application and purchase expedited shipment at the time of submission. If you didn't buy a process time and shipment method at first, you may even upgrade them. To track your passport application, the United States Department of State provides email alerts and online tracking. If, after two weeks after shipment, you have not received your passport, get in touch with them immediately and complete Form DS-86 to obtain a new one.

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