Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

How long before Passport Services contacts me for additional documents

by Jillian
(MA, USA)

Question: Hello, I recently applied for a passport and paid extra to expedite the process. I am traveling in a month.


When I went to apply at the post office, they informed me that my birth certificate was not the correct type and that I needed to contact my town hall to order a copy but that they would submit all my other information to get the process started and that I would be hearing from the passport agency with a letter telling me that they need a different copy of my birth cert which I could send in to them.

I already have the new copy and it is ready to go but have not heard from the passport agency that they need it.

All I am waiting for now is to hear from the passport agency that they need the new copy and I will send it. But I am running short on time and have not heard from them.

Can you tell me how long it will be before I hear back from them requesting other documentation? If it takes 2-3 weeks just to hear from them, I will not have enough time to send the correct birth certificate and get my passport after that.

I guess I just need to know if it still takes 2-3 weeks to hear back if they need more information sent in or if I should be hearing from them soon. Thank you for any help you can provide!

Answer: Expedited passport service usually only takes only up to 3 weeks to complete except in unusual circumstances. An agent should contact you soon.

Since you have a month before your trip, you should have no problem getting your passport expedited in time.

If you want to check the status of your application, visit Check Passport Application Status.

Also, you can call the National Passport Information Center's toll free number and speak with a representative. The number is 1-877-487-2778.

If, for some reason, you do not receive word from the passport agency within one week of your departure date, you may want to visit the nearest agency and take the birth certificate with you.

Inform them that you have an application that is being processed. Unless there is another problem with the documentation you submitted, they should issue the passport the same day.

Return to Passport Expediting FAQ.

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering extremely limited in-person services if you need to travel internationally in the next 5 business days. Those with qualified life-or-death emergencies are prioritized.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 5 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 AM to 5PM, call ET 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, 202-647-4000

You can schedule your appointment up to 2 weeks before your international travel but the date of your appointment must be within 5 business days of your international travel. If you need a foreign visa, the date of your appointment must be within 10 business days of your international travel.

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