How to Check the Status of Your Passport Application

Updated on November 30, 2023
At a Glance: To check the status of your passport application, you have several options. After 7 to 10 business days, you can check online by visiting the U.S. State Department’s Application Status page and providing your details. Alternatively, you can call the National Passport Information Center or send an email to [email protected] with your application information. For passport renewals, the same methods apply, and if you haven’t received your passport after 10 business days, contact the National Passport Information Center and file the DS-86 form. If you changed your address, contact the National Passport Information Center to ensure proper delivery.

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Having a passport is a must if you want to go on a vacation in another country. Even if you’ve already booked the hotel and flight for the next international adventure, you must ensure that you have a valid passport. If you are currently waiting for a new passport, though, you should look into its current status so you can estimate how long it will be until the process is over.

There are a few things you will need to be able to check on passport status, and in this article, we will look over the methods you can use.

Quick Overview: How to Check Your Passport Status

If you applied for a passport, it’s typically possible to check the status of it after 7 to 10 business days. Here’s how:

  • Online. Go to the Application Status page of the U.S. State Department site and fill in your last name, date of birth, and last four digits of your SSN.
  • By phone. Call 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY) and speak to a customer service representative.
  • By email. Send an email to [email protected] asking about the status of your passport application. Make sure to include your first and last name, application number, and date of birth.
  • With a Third-party. Third-party expeditor services provide a clearer, faster passport processing route, albeit at a premium cost, ideal for urgent needs.

Is It Possible to Check the Status of Your Passport Application?

You can easily check your passport application status to determine the arrival of your new travel document. After submitting your application and required documents to the U.S. Department of State, wait 7-10 business days before its status becomes trackable.

To receive automatic updates, provide your email after locating your application in the Online Passport Status System.

How to Check Your Passport Status Online

Guide on checking passport application status via the State Department website, highlighting steps from accessing the website to entering personal details for status updates.

One of the easiest ways to check your passport status is by doing so online. You can do this by checking the application’s status on the website of the State Department. It may take about 14 days to be able to check status updates, so it’s essential to wait and not panic if you don’t see an update until then.

Screenshot of the U.S. State Department's Passport Application Status page, highlighting instructions on reviewing Privacy and Computer Fraud Notices, entering personal details, and a 'Need Help?' section with contact options.

Your application status will appear as “Not Found”, “In Process”, “Approved” or “Mailed”. If you’d rather receive the updates without having to check the website all the time, you can also sign up for automatic email messages.

Screenshot of the U.S. State Department's Passport Application Status input page, showcasing fields for last name, date of birth, last four digits of Social Security Number, and a captcha code, alongside a 'Need Help?' information panel.

Here is how to check your application status online:

  1. Access the State Department website and go to the Application Status section.
  2. Then, in order to check the application status, click on the Online Passport Status System link.
  3. You will see the Privacy and Computer Fraud and Abuse Acts Notices and Disclaimers. Read it, and then tick the box and click on “Submit”.
  4. Now, it is time to enter your date of birth, last name, and your Social Security Number’s last four digits.
  5. You’ll see a code on your screen. Type in this code and then click on “Submit”.

Checking your passport status online will not only be your most direct option, it will also be your fastest option and should be your option of choice, unless it is not feasible.

How to Check Your Passport Status by Phone

Step-by-step guide for inquiring about passport application status via phone, highlighting the National Passport Information Center contact details, recommended call timings, and the process of receiving updates.

Two check your passport application status by phone, you need to:

  1. Call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (for TDD/TTY users).
  2. Call on a weekday (Monday to Friday) between 8 AM and 10 PM Eastern Time. Remember, the center is closed on federal holidays.
  3. Once connected, speak to a Customer Service Representative to inquire about your passport status.
  4. The representative will provide you with the latest update on your passport’s processing status.

Checking your status by phone will be the second quickest way to get your passport application status and should be your next choice after checking online.

How to Check Your Passport Status by Email

Instructions for checking passport application status via email, emphasizing the process of drafting an email to the National Passport Information Center, details to include, and the potential for variable response times.

It’s also possible to check your passport status by email. However, you should know that it is not as reliable as the previous two methods. But if you think this method is more suitable for you, then follow these steps:

  1. Open your email client and draft a new email to [email protected].
  2. In the email body, provide your first and last name, application number, and date of birth. This will help the representative locate your application more efficiently.
  3. Once you’ve included all the necessary details, send your email. Remember, response times might vary, so a bit of patience is required.
  4. Instead of manually checking the status or waiting for email replies, you might find it more convenient to sign up for automatic updates. These will notify you about changes in your passport status, ensuring you stay informed without the need for regular manual checks.

Of the methods of checking your passport status discussed so far, this will take the longest, so it should only be used when you’re do not need to know your passport application status quickly.

Passport Status Check Email Inquiry Template

Below, you will find a template email you can use when check your passport application status by email:

Subject: Inquiry about Passport Application Status

Dear [Recipient’s Name or “National Passport Information Center”],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inquire about the status of my passport application.

  • [Your First Name] [Your Last Name]
  • [Your Application Number]
  • [Your Date of Birth, formatted as MM/DD/YYYY]

I would appreciate it if you could provide me with an update regarding the processing status of my application.

Additionally, I am interested in signing up for automatic updates to stay informed about any changes in my passport status. Please let me know the necessary steps to enable this service.

Thank you for your time and assistance. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Warm regards,

[Your First Name] [Your Last Name]

[Your Contact Number, if you wish to provide]

How to Check Your Passport Status Using a Third-Party Service

Overview of third-party expeditor services like Rush My Passport and CIBT Visa, highlighting their courier-based submission process, quick delivery times, and associated premium fees for expedited passport services.

Opting for an expeditor service, such as Rush My Passport or CIBT Visa, offers a more transparent view of your passport’s processing journey. How it works:

  1. Hands-on Approach: These agencies use couriers who personally submit the documentation, enhancing the clarity of the process.
  2. Speedy Delivery: Expeditors can return your passport within a few business days, though the duration can vary by agency.
  3. Premium Fee: Be prepared to spend around $600 or more for this expedited service.

This should, however, be a last option, as it will cost you a lot of money, and it should be reserved for absolute emergencies.

Current Passport Processing Times

U.S. State Department's outlined passport processing times for routine and expedited services, emphasizing fees and additional duration considerations for mailing.

According the the U.S. State Department website, the current passport processing times for both newcomers and renewing applicants are:

  • Routine Service – Passports typically arrive within 10 to 13 weeks at a fee of $130.
  • Expedited Service – If you’re in a hurry, the U.S. Department of State offers a faster service that processes passports within seven to nine weeks, but it’ll cost an extra $60.

It’s crucial to remember that the stated timeframes don’t account for mailing durations. You should consider an extra two weeks for your application to reach the passport agency or center by mail, and another two weeks for the delivery of the finalized passport to your address.

Passport Applications Statues Explained

When you check your passport application status, you may see one of several different statuses. Below, you will find explanations of those statuses.

Application StatusDescription
Not FoundYou are checking early; check the submission date. Perhaps you are checking the status within 6 weeks. Remember the waiting period we have discussed above. Wait for 6 weeks and check again. Yeah, I heard you. Are you wondering what if I got the same status even after 6 weeks? It is probably due to some technical glitch in Online Passport Status System. It will get resolved soon. Visit the portal after some time and check.
In ProcessIt probably means one of the agencies or centers is currently reviewing your application. You may probably wonder how long my application will remain in ‘In Process’. That depends on the service you have opted for and the processing time.
ApprovedCongrats! The Difficult part is over. State Department has completed your application verification, and they are going to print your passport.
MailedYour passport is Mailed to your address. Note down the tracking number. You will get the other documents like a birth certificate and previous passport in a separate mail.

What to Do If You Have Not Received Your Passport

If your travel document status changes to “Mailed” but you don’t receive it within 10 business days, don’t panic. Contact the National Passport Information Center and file the DS-86 Form promptly. If you don’t report the non-receipt within 90 days of its issuance, the Department of State requires you to reapply and pay all associated fees.

What If You Need an Emergency Passport?

Standard passport processing can take up to 13 weeks. If you need it sooner:

  1. Expedited Service – Pay an additional fee to receive your passport in five to seven weeks.
  2. Emergency Situations – If there’s a critical family emergency requiring you to travel outside the U.S. within three days, utilize the emergency passport service. Call 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TDD) Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm ET (excluding federal holidays). For assistance beyond these hours, dial 202-647-4000.

What Happens If You Changed Your Address?

If you changed your mailing address after you’ve submitted your passport application, then you should reach out to the National Passport Information Center. This is an option available for people who now have a different address for their application form and passport delivery.

If you are in this scenario and you want to make sure your U.S. Passport arrives at the right location, you should call the National Passport Information Center.

Applying for a Passport from Outside the U.S.

Navigating the passport application process from outside the U.S. can be a bit different. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Where to Apply – While residing or traveling abroad, submit your passport application to the nearest embassy or consulate.
  2. Application Process – The procedure varies by country, requiring either in-person submission or mailing.
  3. Mailing Details – Some consulates specify preferred mail service providers for applications.
  4. Tracking Your Application – For updates on your application status, directly contact the respective consulate or embassy.

Is It Possible to Check the Status of Your Passport Renewal?

You can also check the status of your passport if you applied for a renewal and not a new passport. Just like with the actual passport application, you can check the status of your renewal online or by phone. Also, you should wait up to 14 days after applying for the renewal to check the status.

How to Check Your Passport Renewal by Phone

Checking your passport renewal by phone is perhaps the easiest method to find out information as it is very quick. All you have to do is:

  1. Call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY).
  2. Inquire about the status of your passport renewal.

Be sure to call them during operating hours between 8 AM and 10 PM on Monday to Friday.

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Final Thoughts

It can be very useful to check your passport status, as it will let you know when you can expect your US Passport to arrive. There are different ways to check the status, respectively by phone, email, or online. Choose the most convenient method for you so that you can always know what’s going on with your passport application.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.