Important: Processing times recently changed for both routine and expedited passport applications.

Passport FAQ - Find Answers to All of Your Questions About Passport Services

Passport Questions? We Can Help.
Questions? We Can Help by Jeanette.Dietl/DepositPhotos

Our passport FAQ pages have been categorized to assist you in finding answers for the type of help that you require. Just click the link below for the passport service you need and you will be presented with an list of answers to frequently asked questions.

You can also use the menu on the left column to access step-by-step instructions, application forms, and a list of places to apply for a U.S. passport. For mobile users, access this menu by switching to landscape view on your smartphone.

General Passport FAQ

Who needs a passport?

Any U.S. citizen who plans to exit and/or return to the United States by air. Minors age 16 or younger can present evidence of U.S. citizenship such as a birth certificate when returning from Canada or Mexico by land. A passport is not required for reentry when traveling on a closed-loop cruise.

Does a baby need a passport?

Yes. An infant, even a newborn, must possess a passport if the child will be taken outside the U.S.

How long does it take to get a passport?

Standard processing can take up to 12 weeks or more depending on the demand at the time you apply. Expediting a passport at an acceptance facility (new) or by mail (renewal) usually takes 3-6 weeks less than routine service. Emergency passports can be processed at regional centers as quickly as the same day. Currently, this is limited to customers who are traveling internationally in the next 72 hours (3 business days). Same day passport service is available under certain circumstances.


High demand and mailing delays are impacting how long it takes to get a passport.

  • Standard service is currently taking between 7 and 10 weeks.
  • Expedited service is currently taking between 3 to 5 weeks.

NOTE: Processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center. Requesting 1-2-day mailing service is recommended.

Need to get a passport faster?

What is the validity of a passport?

  • Passports issued to minors age 15 or younger are valid for 5 years.
  • Passports issued to applicants over age 15 are valid for 10 years.
  • Limited-validity, emergency passports are usually valid for 1 year.

When should I apply for a passport renewal?

It is recommended that you begin the application process to renew your passport approximately 9 months before it expires. However, the passport renewal application can be submitted at any time.

Passports issued to applicants age 16 or older can be renewed by mail up to 5 years after the expiration date.

Additional Resources

The links below provide additional information to help answer your United States passport questions.

Click for expedited passport courier service in 24 to 48 hours!.

Expedite Your Passport Now!

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