Passport Operations in Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 Alert
October 14, 2020

Update on U.S. Passport Operations

You can find Frequently Asked Questions about U.S. passport operations by expanding the gray boxes below.

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1. What is the current status of passport operations?

You can now apply for routine service and expect to receive a passport in 10-12 weeks. You also have the option of paying an additional $60 for expedited service to receive your passport in 4-6 weeks.

These processing times apply to applications submitted by mail and in-person at an acceptance facility in your community. Most acceptance facilities such as post offices, clerks of court, and libraries are open and accepting passport applications. We encourage you to apply by mail when possible because it is a safe, contactless option for certain services. See question #3 for more details.

All of our agencies and centers are processing passport applications. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our workforce and customers, we currently are limiting in-person appointments at our agencies and centers to customers who are traveling internationally in the next 72 hours (3 business days) due to a life-or-death emergency. We are also offering a limited number of appointments for customers who have urgent international travel in the next 72 hours (3 business days) for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency.

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2. What should I expect when applying at an acceptance facility?

If you need to apply in person, we recommend you apply at an acceptance facility. Children under age 16, all first-time applicants, and applicants who have lost their passport or had their passport stolen must apply in-person. These locations include post offices, clerks of court, libraries, and local government offices. Contact your local acceptance facility to confirm it is open before you apply. Some locations may require appointments to enable social distancing. If you want to apply at a post office, you will need to make an appointment on the USPS.com website.

When you apply at an acceptance facility, you can select routine service (receive your passport in 10-12 weeks) or expedited service (receive your passport in 4-6 weeks). Expedited service costs an additional $60 per application.

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3. What should I expect when applying by mail?

We encourage you to apply by mail when possible because it is a safe, contactless option for certain services. There is no need to be physically present at an acceptance facility, passport agency, or passport center for any of the following services:

  • Renew your U.S. passport
  • Change your name in a U.S. passport
  • Correct an error in your U.S. passport
  • Apply for your first U.S. passport card if you already have a U.S. passport book
  • Apply for your first U.S. passport book if you already have a U.S. passport card
  • Replace a limited-validity (valid for less than 10 years) passport
  • Report a passport lost or stolen (Note: You cannot replace a lost or stolen passport by mail, but you can report it as lost or stolen.)

Learn if you are eligible to apply by mail. Get started.

For mail-in services, you can select routine service (receive your passport in 10-12 weeks) or expedited service (receive your passport in 4-6 weeks). Expedited service costs an additional $60 per application.

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4. What should I expect if I need to apply at a passport agency or center?

We continue to offer in-person service by appointment only for customers who need a passport within 72 hours (3 business days) due to a life-or-death emergency. We are also offering a limited number of appointments for customers who have urgent international travel within 72 hours (3 business days) for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency. Go to our Passport Agency and Center page for more information.

In our waiting rooms, we have fewer chairs and more signage to enable social distancing. We require appointments, and we currently do not offer walk-in services. Staff and customers must wear face coverings in common areas.

Collect all of your application materials before you arrive for your appointment. Use our online form filler to fill out your form and print it before you arrive for your appointment. You can also print a PDF of your form and complete it by hand in black ink before you arrive. Both of these options reduce the amount of time you spend in our lobby on the day of your appointment.

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5. Are you making progress on pending U.S. passport applications?

Yes. From June 11 through October 1, we published U.S. passport statistics every Thursday in the table below. Our October 1st update was our last weekly update since we are now offering routine and expedited service commitments. You can now find FY 2020 statistics on our Reports and Statistics page.

Week (Thursday-Wednesday)

Applications Received

Passports Awaiting Issuance

Passports Issued*

Sep 24-30

176,000 923,000 168,000

Sep 17-23

179,000 934,000 165,000

Sep 10-16

143,000 931,000 149,000

*The number of passports issued can vary due to many factors such as staffing levels and local conditions, which may require an agency to temporarily close.

 

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6. I have a pending application. Can I upgrade it for expedited service?

Yes. We now offer routine service in 10-12 weeks and expedited service in 4-6 weeks. If you applied and have not received your passport, you may call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 and request to expedite your passport in 4-6 weeks.

Check the status of your passport online or by calling us at 1-877-487-2778.

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7. Are passport agencies and centers still reopening in phases?

Yes, every agency and center is moving through three phases of reopening based on local conditions. The phases describe how our staff are returning safely to work. In phase one, limited staff return to onsite work. In phase two, most staff return to onsite work. In phase three, all staff at an agency or center return to onsite work. Go to our Passport Agency and Center page for more information. 

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8. When will you return to your normal service times?

We continue to work to reduce processing times for both routine and expedited service, while protecting the health and safety of our staff and customers. We will re-evaluate the processing times on a rolling basis and will adjust them downward as resources allow.

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9. Can I request a refund?

If you paid the $60 fee for expedited service when you applied and you did not receive expedited service, you can request a refund of this fee. We cannot refund any other passport fees or your travel expenses if you missed your trip.

Please note we stopped offering expedited service on March 19 and resumed offering this service on September 28. You can learn more about how to request a refund of the expedited passport fee on our Refunds page.

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10. Is it safe to travel internationally?

Conditions vary depending upon location. We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic. Check our country-specific information pages to make an informed decision about your travel.

Resuming Passport Services During COVID-19

Watch this video to learn about our current operations during COVID-19 and plans to reopen in three phases.