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Can I find out the status of my passport renewal once I mail it in and, if necessary, have it expedited?

by Lisa
(Baltimore, MD)

Questions: I don't think I'll need my passport in the next 6 weeks or so and, since it's expiring in June, I want to get this done. However, if we take a spur of the moment trip to the Caribbean, for example, and I don't have it back, then what? Can I call and pay the difference to speed it up if it's in the middle of processing?

Secondly, to clear up part of someone else's answer for myself - you WILL return my old passport, right? I'd really like to have it as a reminder of the trips I took! Thanks and Happy New Year!

Answers: The status of your passport application can be verified online. You need to wait approximately 5-7 days for the application to be entered into the system. Click the link for more information: Passport Application Status

You will not be allowed to travel to the Caribbean (or any other international destination) by air without a valid U.S. passport.

It is usually possible for applicants to request expedited service after they have sent the application for processing as long as they can pay for the expedited service fee with a valid credit card. If you need to get your application form expedited after you have mailed it in, contact the National Passport Information Center. The toll-free telephone number is 1-877-487-2778.

Finally, the passport you submit with your application for renewal will be returned to you as long as it is not significantly damaged. If it is damaged, the only way that you can keep it is to apply for a new passport at an application acceptance facility. In this case, you would not be required to submit the previously issued passport.

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