This year is on track to set the record for the highest demand for passports, according to the U.S. State Department. From October 2022 to September 2023, the State Department issued more than 24 million passport books and cards, the most ever. Passport processing delays are lengthy as a result.
Amid all the confusion and delays around getting a passport, here are some tips to guide you through the ins and outs of the process.
Passport application and renewal
How can you apply for a passport?
If it’s your first time, you have to apply in person at a passport acceptance facility.
How should you renew a passport?
To renew, mail the application and supporting documents (your most recent passport, a photo and passport fees) through the U.S. Postal Service. Make sure you’re eligible to renew before you mail in your application.
How long does it take to get and renew a passport?
Mailing can add up to two weeks for the application to arrive at a passport agency or center and up to two weeks for you to receive your passport.
Expediting a passport
How can you expedite a new passport or renewal?
You can upgrade your passport application from routine to three categories: expedited, urgent travel or emergency for an additional $60 (on top of the application fee of $130 for a new or renewed passport plus the execution fee of $35 for a new one).