travel while waiting for passport renewal

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Can I travel internationally during passport renewal process?

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Current Processing Times (applied on or after December 18, 2023)

About our processing times.

  • Include the time your application is at one of our passport agencies or centers. 
  • You may get your passport on a different date than your family member or friend.
  • Mailing times are not included in processing times . Consider the total time it will take to receive your passport when you are booking travel. 
  • It may take two weeks for your application to get to us, and two weeks for you to get your passport after we mail it. 

Previous Processing Times

I applied between november 6, 2023 and december 17, 2023.

Routine : 7 to 10 weeks

Expedited : 3 to 5 weeks

Expedited at Agency : Must have international travel within 14 calendar days

How to Get your Application Status

You can get a status on the day we received your application in our system, or the day we processed your request for expedited service.

Online Passport Status System : Enroll in email updates about your status

Application Status page : Find out the status of your passport application 

Frequently Asked Questions

I need my passport sooner than i thought. what should i do.

Call the National Passport Information Center at  1-877-487-2778  ( 1-888-874-7793  TDD/TTY) to request expedited service for an extra $60. You may also add a 1-2 delivery service of your completed passport book for an extra $19.53. One-to-two day delivery is not available for passport cards. We only send cards via First Class Mail.

Can I pay for faster delivery and return shipping?

Yes. You may choose one or both of the following shipment options:

  • Delivery to us : Use Priority Mail Express for faster shipping. The price for this service depends where you live.
  • Return to you : Pay $19.53 for 1-2 day delivery. This means you will receive your passport   1-2 days after we send it. Include the fee with your passport fee in your check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of State for fastest return shipping. Do not submit a return envelope to us with postage pre-paid. 

You may receive your passport and the supporting documents in separate mailings. If you are renewing a passport card, we will send it to you via First Class Mail. We do not use 1-2 day delivery services if you only applied for a passport card.

Why do your processing times change?

We change our processing times as demand for passports changes during the year. From late winter into summer, demand for passports is generally higher than other periods of the year. Plan ahead and apply during our slower season from October through December. 

What happens to my processing times if I receive a letter or email requesting more information?

If you receive a letter or email requesting more information to complete your application, respond as soon as possible. If you receive this letter or email, it may take longer to get your passport. Follow the instructions in the letter or email, and go to our Respond to a Letter or Email page for more information.    

I received an email from [email protected] reminding me to renew my passport. Is this legitimate?

Yes, this is our email and the links in the email will take you to this website. We are emailing customers who have passports expiring in the next year and reminding them to renew. The subject line of the email will be:

  • Act Now - Renew Your U.S. Passport!, or
  • Act Now - Renew Your Child's Passport!

Make An Appointment at a Passport Agency or Center

We have two types of appointments: Life-or-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service . You cannot walk-in. 

Not Yet Applied : Make an appointment online

Already Applied : Call  1-877-487-2778 . Se habla español.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call  1-888-874-7793  for TDD/TTY teletype services. 

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How to Renew Your Passport

Sally French

Sally French is a travel rewards expert who joined NerdWallet in 2020. She previously wrote about travel and credit cards for The New York Times and its sibling site, Wirecutter.

Outside of work, she loves fitness, and she competes in both powerlifting and weightlifting (she can deadlift more than triple bodyweight). Naturally, her travels always involve a fitness component, including a week of cycling up the coastline of Vietnam and a camping trip to the Arctic Circle, where she biked over the sea ice. Other adventures have included hiking 25 miles in one day through Italy's Cinque Terre and climbing the 1,260 steps to Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi, Thailand.

She lives in San Francisco.

Meghan Coyle

Meghan Coyle started as a web producer and writer at NerdWallet in 2018. She covers travel rewards, including industry news, airline and hotel loyalty programs, and how to travel on points. She is based in Los Angeles.

travel while waiting for passport renewal

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Table of Contents

How long does it take to renew your passport?

Reasons to renew your passport ahead of expiration, passport renewal fees, how to renew your passport by mail, in person or online, how often do you have to renew your passport, what to do if you have a lost or stolen passport.

Even if an international trip isn't on your calendar anytime soon, grab your passport and check when it expires. If your passport expires within the next year, don’t wait to renew. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport expires within six months. And it costs extra money to get a turnaround on your renewal quickly.

According to the U.S. Department of State, current passport processing timelines are as follows:

Routine processing: Six to eight weeks.

Expedited processing: Two to three weeks.

What's more, making an emergency visit to a passport agency if it doesn’t come in time is stressful, and not a great way to start your vacation. Here's how to renew your passport.

Though the State Department gives estimations for returning passports to applicants, you run the risk of being that one-off case that took longer than normal.

In addition, the State Department’s projected processing times do not include mailing times, and the department also warns that it can take up to two weeks for your application to actually be acknowledged as “in process.”

Add that all up, and it’s reasonable to start applying for your passport renewal now — even if it doesn’t expire this year.

It may not be valid for some travel — even if its still valid

Some countries require that passports be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip.

That means even if your passport doesn’t expire until the end of 2024, you might not be able to travel internationally during the summer of 2024 if it expires within six months. In fact, some airlines won’t allow you to board with a passport that is near expiry (and hey, you probably don’t want to fly 20 hours to Dubai only to find the United Arab Emirates won’t let you into the country).

The State Department’s Country Information page provides details on which countries have such requirements.

Expedited processing fees will eat into your vacation budget

If you procrastinate, then not all is lost — except some of your vacation fund. You can pay extra to receive a passport more quickly, but you’ll have to pay an additional $60 for expedited service.

And even still, the process isn't exactly speedy. Double or triple that cost if you have family members who need that service as well.

You could use a passport to fly domestically too (unless you have Real ID)

Even if you don’t plan to travel internationally anytime in the next few years, a passport could be necessary for domestic travel.

Beginning May 7, 2025, you’ll need Real ID-compliant identification to board domestic flights. Real ID is a state-issued driver’s license or identification card with a star. To obtain Real ID-compliant identification, you’ll typically have to visit your state’s driver’s licensing agency.

To obtain Real ID-compliant identification, you’ll typically have to visit your state’s driver’s licensing agency.

However, you can avoid a trip to the DMV for a new license by showing other acceptable identification at the airport, such as a passport or passport card. Depending on what your local DMV lines are like, it might be easier to just have a valid passport and use it for all domestic and international travel.

How much does it cost to renew your passport? For first-time passport applicants, the cost is $165, including $130 for the application fee and $35 for the execution (or acceptance) fee.

Those who plan to renew their passport do not need to pay the acceptance fee again. You'll be charged $30 for a passport card, $130 for a passport or $160 for both, per person. Expedited services is an additional $60 per person, and if you need it even faster, you can also pay for expedited delivery (one to two days) for an additional $19.53.

Renew by mail

In general, the easiest way to renew your passport is by mail. You can do this if all of the following apply:

You have your passport in your possession (and can submit it with your application).

It is undamaged (aside from normal wear and tear).

You received it when you were at least 16 years old.

It was issued within the past 15 years.

It was either issued to your current name or you can submit documentation of your name change.

To apply by mail, you’ll need the following:

A filled-out DS-82 form .

Your most recent passport.

Name change documents (such as a marriage certificate), if applicable.

A passport photo taken in the past six months.

Payment via personal check or money order to the U.S. Department of State of $130 for a passport book, $30 for a passport card or $160 for both. Expedited service costs an additional $60.

Mail your application and documents to the National Passport Processing Center ( addresses and renewal details can be found here ).

Renew passport in person

If one of the above five scenarios doesn't apply to you, then you’ll need to apply in person. To apply in person, you’ll need the following:

A filled-out DS-82 form.

How to renew your passport online

In the spring of 2023, the U.S. Department of State offered a limited release of online renewal services. This application pathway has since been pause and is no longer available.

A nationwide release is pending improvements to the system.

While you cannot submit an application online now, you can still renew by mail if you are eligible.

Passports expire every 10 years if it was issued after you turned 16 years old. If your current passport was issued while you were 15 and younger, it is valid for 5 years.

Maybe you moved recently and your passport got lost in the shuffle. Or you tossed it in a box after a year of uncertainty of when you’d ever use it again — and now you can’t fathom finding it.

You’ll need to report your lost or stolen passport to the State Department. From there, you must apply for a replacement passport , and standard fees apply.

You can renew an expired passport if the passport was issued within the past 15 years only. If the passport was issued earlier than that, go through the same steps of applying for a new passport.

The cost to renew a passport book is $130. It’s $30 to renew a passport card, or $160 for both. Expedited service costs an additional $60.

Yes, your passport photo must have been taken in the past six months from the time you submit the new passport application.

Yes, your old passport book or passport card will be returned (you need to mail in your most recent passport if you are renewing by mail). It usually will be sent separately from the new passport.

If you were at least 16 years old when the passport was issued, your passport is valid for 10 years. Otherwise, it’s valid for five years.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee:   Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards:  Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card  

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

On a similar note...

travel while waiting for passport renewal

travel while waiting for passport renewal

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U.S. passports

Find out how to apply for or renew a passport and what to do if your passport is lost or stolen.

Apply for a new adult passport

You need a passport to travel to most countries outside the U.S. Learn how to apply for a passport in person, check your application status, and get it changed or corrected.

Renew an adult passport

Find out if you can renew your passport or need a new one. Learn how to renew your passport by mail or online, get it changed or corrected, or what to do if it expires soon.

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Find out how to get a child's passport, depending on their age.

Lost or stolen passports

If your passport is lost or stolen you must report it to the State Department right away. How you replace it depends on if you are inside or outside the U.S.

IMAGES

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  2. How to Expedite Your U.S. Passport Renewal • The Blonde Abroad

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  3. U.S. Passport Renewal Waiting Time Could Soon Get Even Worse

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  4. Still Waiting on Your Passport? Here’s What You Can Do

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  5. Yes, you can now renew your passport online

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  6. How to Expedite Your U.S. Passport Renewal • The Blonde Abroad

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COMMENTS

  1. Can I travel internationally during passport renewal process?

    If you need your passport to travel internationally and do not have time to wait for routine processing, then you can apply for expedited passport renewal. By mail, this process takes 2-3 weeks. The application can be processed the same day at a regional agency.

  2. Still Waiting on Your Passport? Here's What You Can Do Now

    If you applied for a new passport or to renew it by mail or in person, you'll have to call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to upgrade from routine to expedited service.

  3. How to Get my U.S. Passport Fast - Travel

    If you have not applied, make an appointment online. Your appointment at a passport agency or center must within 14 calendar days of your international travel date. If you have already applied, call us at 1-877-487-2778 . We cannot guarantee an appointment will be available.

  4. Frequently Asked Questions about Passport Services - Travel

    In most cases when you renew by mail, we will return the old passport to you. The old passport may not arrive for up to 8 weeks after you receive your new passport. If you renew online, keep your most recent passport and do not send it to us.

  5. Processing Times for U.S. Passports - Travel

    Consider the total time it will take to receive your passport when you are booking travel. It may take two weeks for your application to get to us, and two weeks for you to get your passport after we mail it.

  6. How to Renew a Passport - NerdWallet

    Even if an international trip isn't on your calendar anytime soon, grab your passport and check when it expires. If your passport expires within the next year, dont wait to renew.

  7. Renew an adult passport | USAGov

    Renew an adult passport. Find out if you can renew your passport or need a new one. Learn how to renew your passport by mail, get it changed or corrected, or what to do if it expires soon.

  8. U.S. passports | USAGov

    You need a passport to travel to most countries outside the U.S. Learn how to apply for a passport in person, check your application status, and get it changed or corrected. Renew an adult passport Find out if you can renew your passport or need a new one.

  9. How to Skip the Wait and Renew Your Passport Right Away

    To jump the line and get renewed ahead of everyone, the non-negotiable requirement is that you must have international travel scheduled in the next 14 calendar days and can prove it with a...

  10. Important Updates on Passport Processing - United States ...

    We encourage all Americans to check their passport expiration date before making any definitive plans for international travel, and to take action to renew their passport well in advance of international travel this year.