Are Passport Application Processing Times Faster Than Ever?

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Passport application approvals came to a standstill earlier this year as passport agencies closed due to COVID-19.

When they reopened this summer, there was a long backlog of applications for them to work through.

We normally apply for passports for our kids at the library, but they aren’t currently processing applications due to COVID-19.

So we went to the post office to get a passport for our latest addition on August 26th. And of course I paid for part of the fee with my AMEX Business Platinum card to take advantage of the $20 monthly shipping credit.

The ability to pay for expedited passport processing was not available due to COVID-19 and they said it might be months before we got the passport back.

But we got it back on September 14th, less than 3 weeks from when we sent it in! That’s faster than we’ve gotten our passports in normal times!

Have you applied for a passport this year? When did you apply and how long did your application processing take?

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110 Comments On "Are Passport Application Processing Times Faster Than Ever?"

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3 months


Applied for one today. We’ll see if they beat six weeks


Applied for a passport a month ago. Within three days all checks were cashed. Got it back three weeks later, fastest ever. Told us it would be four to six months


Applied for my 1 year old and a renewal for a 5 year old in the summer and also had them back within 3 weeks or so. I know people though that applied in the beginning of COVID and still have not received their passports.


That’s really bizarre- you’d think they would at least clear the backlog out first before moving on to the new ones. It’s nuts that people who applied way back in March or April are still waiting.

Gabriel Feldman

I applied for my son’s passport back un July. And still haven’t recieved it!! Please help?! Anyone have any pointers ideas anything?


Contact your senator, they can assist and have it expedited.


Contact your senator’s office.


Call the dept of state and ask them for an update and if they can expedite it


I applied in early July, just got them this week


Sent my app out on 9/10/20 and I’m waiting


What did you use to pay the balance?


I’m pretty sure you can only use a credit card for the execution fee- the rest that goes to the Department of State for the passport itself has to be by check.


Ha. Lucky.

I applied on Aug 12th. Still nothing. I expect it within a month or so hopefully.

But yes, checking the updates from the government site, they are processing 140-150k a week. I think that’s more than pre-covid.

Just goes to show they could easily process them faster than they normally do year round.

Can’t believe I didn’t take advantage of the 20 dollar shipping credit! Genius.

A long time

It took months. We had to get our Congressman involved. Same with SSN. Once we did, things moved. But until then, we’d probably not have it yet. And the little guy is almost 6 months old. Still waiting on SSN.

a yid

did you get a ssn yet?
also waiting and don’t know what to do…
being sent from one to the other…


We applied on April, it came at the last week of August. Insane.


Yup, that was exactly my timeline. Crazy.
But given that the offices were closed for almost all of that time, it makes sense. It’s not that they were processing them slowly- they just weren’t processing them at all.


thank you for posting this article sent in august 1st for a renewal and still have not gotten it back yet it was a ds 5504 form that allows for passports with limited validity og only a year to be renewed at no cost as long as it was sent out before the year expired the passports go to a special address in Philadelphia that handles these ds-5504 forms is there a way to email them with a request to consider moving me up? I wander if nay letters of considerations would help being that you cannot even pay for the expedited fee anyway. also, did you pay cvs for a passport picture or did you take one yourself and save the 15 dollars there is a way to do it if you follow the rules


There are passport photo apps that you can download for free and take your own photos. I’m sure Dan has a way that you can develop the photos at no cost 😉


Applied at the US embassy in Jerusalem on Aug 28th, (NON emergency) passport arrived on Sep 8th.


How did you make an appointment? i thought the consulate was closed for regular appointments and every time i check the website, there are still no dates available


I got within 3 weeks when I renewed mine 5 years ago
Actually need to renew my wives now goodbro know that it doesn’t take so long


SPELLING CORRECTION:thank you for posting this article sent in august 1st for a renewal and still have not gotten it back yet it was a ds 5504 form that allows for passports with limited validity or only a year to be renewed at no cost as long as it was sent out before the year expired the passports go to a special address in Philadelphia that handles these ds-5504 forms is there a way to email them with a request to consider moving me up? I wander if any letters of considerations would help being that you cannot even pay for the expedited fee anyway. also, did you pay cvs for a passport picture or did you take one yourself and save the 15 dollars there is a way to do it if you follow the rules


Still waiting. 3 wks since I sent it in


never took me more then 2 weeks before COVID without any expedite fee


Still waiting for my passport. Applied in late July.


We applied for 5 kids passports July 10. Had them back before end of July. Fastest ever by far.


Got my passport 2 years ago I remember that taking less than 2 weeks


wow, good to know. thanks dan


Also applied in August, got it in about 2 weeks or so! Was SHOCKED!


applied in June took about 9 or 10 weeks as they told me.


I got my rejected passport about a week later because my passport photo had me wearing glasses! Funny thing is ,on my old passport pic, I’m wearing glasses! Go figure


The rule changed in 2016

Danny K

Renewed my Israeli passport by mail to the Israeli consulate in nyc, and got it back within 2 weeks after mailing it. Very quick at least for Israel passports in NY


thx for the post. as long as u have photo quality (printer) paper, there are plenty of free apps that will enable you to size your selfie for passports and then you can print out as many as you need.


Interesting. I thought it had to be an official Passport photo

Dan\'s the Man

There are apps/websites that allow you do it for free. They create 4 “passport” photos onto a normal 4×6 print. I think I paid 12 cents to print it locally. I’ve used it a few times. Worked like a charm and it was actually a lot more convenient that going to take pictures somewhere.


Lol, as if all those places charging an arm & a leg are “official”


Just applied 2 days ago for my daughter. Let’s see…


Applied in March and received end of June:(

Applied on 8/7/20 and still waiting, you can check they also have a link where you can see how many applications they received that week and how many they processed and how many are waiting. It does seem that they are making progress. Its amazing to see how many applications come in a week, in the range of 120k!


It also depends if you filled out the Application online in a PDF. form, if so, they just scan the bar code on the side which has all the information, and it issues the passport.
otherwise a very competent government employee will manually input your Application in the system which will take more time.
This is true before covid


Can I apply a new passport for baby at the post office?


Amazing! I applied at the end of Feb 2020 and only got in in the first week of July :/

Texas Totty

Any thoughts?
My wife’s passport expires 12/2021 but has her maiden name. Is it worth changing her name and renewing now (1 year early) to take advantage of Global credit one year earlier? Can’t get Global with maiden name.

Dan\'s the Man

You can change your name without getting a new passport. You just fill out a form and send in your marriage certificate. They send back the same passport it just has the name change info printed on the last page. No reason to pay/renew early.

Texas Totty


roger d

10 minutes from entry into building to payment
1 hour 20 minutes wait for printing

Worth every penny
(by the way, worth paying 3 usd per year extra for credit card size ID. In countries like Italy, that allows you to leave passport in hotel safe and still not being harrassed by Carabinieri )


No experience right now, but at the beginning. My wife sent hers to renew in January. Didn’t get it back until the summer. Prior to that we had pretty quick turnaround time for the kids’ initial passports (applied at the post office). But when renewing my daughter’s we sent in her old one (which apparently wasn’t needed) and they lost it and never sent it back.

Eugene Novikov

Applied July 29, still waiting. Check was cashed in early August


Applied in May. Check was cashed immediately, but passport was processed and sent in August

Dan\'s the Man

I’ve had it take 3-4 weeks during “normal” times. I think it depends on which passport agency it gets processed at and how busy they are.


Kids passports were always processed much faster.

I renewed mine and my son’s passports in July, got my son’s new passport 2 weeks later, still waiting for mine.


I got mine (3 passports) in about two weeks!


My friend got her son’s in 2 weeks. I have been waiting for my son’s for about a month now.


Applied for my wife and two of my kids. Two kids came back very quickly. Wife’s is still pending. I think the kid’s applications go to a different location and are processing very quickly. Not so much for adult applications


Got for my newborn daughter. Applied Aug. 7 and got it back 3 weeks later. Expected it to take months.


Applied for a baby in my local Brooklyn USPS office on 7/23/20 and received it exactly 3 weeks later, on 8/13/20.


Just applied today for 3. 2 kids and mine. The kids were taken straight by the county clerks office. Mine was prepared than handed over to me in an envelope for me to mail to the Philadelphia passport agency in a priority mail envelope. Cost $7.50 but no county fees charged. $35 saved. Let’s see how quick it will actually process. Normal time use to be 2 weeks however the receipt says “no time schedule due to COVID 19”. Let’s just hope for the best


Applied for renewal on sept. 3. Was advised
to send a letter to Sen. Chuck Shumer via a special link (I will attach) requesting to expedite for essential work/travel. And…. BH Just got mailed out today. Will arrive in 2 days!
Less than 3 weeks. No extra fees.


3-4 months sent it out in March or April got it back in August


We just applied for my daughter last week.
they said they can not tell us how long it’ll be.
Assuming a couple months…

Judy Bernfeld

I applied Sept 3 and still have not gotten it


We applied in the beginning of July and got it back less than three weeks later


I applied for my first passport September 1st. Went to processing September 9. All money orders cashed. So far the only update I’ve received is the email letting me know my application was received. I have my fingers crossed for 4-6 weeks.


How far in advance of my passports expiration date can I apply for renewal?


I got one in January in about 3 weeks


Renewed for a five year old and got it back in four weeks.


We needed a US passport renewed at the Canadian US consulate in July. The consulate was closed, and agencies in the US were only taking life and death emergencies. We emailed the consulate and told them the truth – that our residence status in Canada was in jeopardy unless we renewed. The brought us into an empty consulate the next day, and we were out in less than an hour. The passport arrived a week later. They told us we could have gotten it the next day if we wanted to pick it up from the consulate.


I sent mine in on May 28. I still haven’t received it. Received letter to send new photo which I did two weeks ago.


Question: they ask for you to send in your old passport when you want to renew. If this process takes a number of weeks, what do you do in the interim if you suddenly need to travel (for example if we have to flee the country after the election)? Is there a way to still travel?


August 20- applied
August 26- checks cashed
Still waiting to receive passports…

Voice of Reason

Applied for my child’s first passport on March 2nd. Received it on August 31st.


when filling out the PDF forms what site are you using?

Scottie Mullins

Applied on 8th, for 3 passports. Two adults, one child.
Received around September 8th. Not sure exactly when I received them. It wasn’t as long as I thought it was. Maybe it would of taken longer, if I tried around March.


Renewed my 2 kids with a pdf form and came within 4 weeks. My husband renewed with pdf 2 weeks ago, still waiting on that.


I got one for my newborn baby about 3 weeks later it came in the mail super quick


I applied June 5, I got it back mid august. It was a new application for my newborn. Not bad considering the circumstances. I live in Palm Beach County and all the application places were closed in South Florida, so I had to drive an hour to a courthouse in Martin County for the application.


Renewed my son’s passport end of February, received it mid-August.


Applied on July 3rd and haven’t gotten anything back.


I had it in my mailbox in one week, contact your senator who’ll give you a letter to give in with your application, and it’ll take a week. (They claimed there was a 7-month backup, which doesn’t seem to be the case from these comments.)


Can you attach a link for the letter? And did you renew in person or online?


I applied for a renewal for two of children in mid-June. Both passports arrived within 3 weeks even after I was told by the post office representative that there’s a backlog of over million passports since the agency reopened.


Applied April 30, got it back last week of August- just under 4 months. Although they were basically completely closed for most of that time.
The DOS website always indicated- and continues to- that there would be a ton of backlog to get through because of the initial closures, and that it will take months to get it back; glad to hear it’s been cleared out! The most likely explanation is that, simply, not too many people were applying for passports between April and July. Not that surprising given the circumstances.

Jack out of the Box

I have appointments for my baby in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in a few weeks. Let’s hope it goes well and that we are able to fly. I’m not getting my hopes up about anything better than an emergency 1-year passport which would require an additional appointment later to get the full validity passport.


How did you get an appointment? Every time i check the website, there are no appointments available.

Passport renew

any advice on renewing a USA passport in Israel?
the embassy website doesn’t show any dated available for appointments.

Jack out of the Box

I renowned my passport in march still have not gotten my passport


My Husband applied 3/16/2020 and didn’t get his back (just a renewal) until 08/01/2020


Applied 7/28 for a renewal and a new one for my kid. Still have not received it yet.


Exact same thing happened to us. Post office on august 14th, passport was mailed out back to us on Sep 9th

Boruch kay

Applied one month ago. Got it back 3 weeks ago


Not my experience at all… Applied in July, called to check the status the end of August, just got one earlier this week, & the other today 9/24

Mitch Cumstein

I applied in mid-March and got mine back 9 days after sending it in (regular processing). 3 weeks seems like a long time.


I applied for a passport in augest and after 4 weeks of waiting i contacted schumer’s office via the online form and got it 2 days later!


Applied for 3 kids on Aug 28h, passports were delivered on Sept 26th.


All you guys mail in the old passports?

And did you guys use the pdf or fill in a form and etc?


Anyone recently updated their old passport? I wonder what the current processing lead time is.