How Long Does It Take to Get a Passport?

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Plan ahead when applying for a passport.
Plan ahead when applying for a passport. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Exploring the jungle-covered Mayan ruins of Mexico, backpacking through quaint European villages or experiencing the diverse cuisine of Mediterranean seaside villages all have one thing in common: a U.S. passport is required. No matter where your adventures may take you, a valid U.S. passport is needed to open the door to international travels.

Routine Passport Processing Time

According to the U.S. Department of State, plan on four to six weeks to receive your passport once you’ve filed the necessary application through a local passport agency. Keep in mind, longer processing times may occur during heavy application periods or due to other circumstances. You can track the status of your passport online through the Department of State website, typically within five to seven days after submitting your documents.

Expedited Passport Processing Time

For an additional fee, the U.S. Department of State offers expedited processing of passport applications for citizens that may have urgent international travel requirements. When using the expedited service, residents can expect to receive their passport approximately three weeks from the time of application. For faster service or extenuating circumstances, citizens are encouraged to call the National Passport Information Center to schedule an appointment at a regional passport agency for assistance.

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