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Some say getting a passport usually happens in 4-6 weeks and others say it takes shorter or longer. Getting, renewing or replacing a passport sounds quite hectic. Gathering and filling the documents, submitting various forms and the process goes on. Seems never ending! In case of emergency where time is limited, it makes people doubtful about the time it actually takes. And they often ask, do passports really take 4-6 weeks?
There was a time when for getting a passport, people had to wait as long as 12 or more consecutive weeks. Situation is far better now. According to U.S. Passport and International Travel announcements, the approximate time of getting one is 6 weeks from the day of application. Still there are many important factors that determine the duration like:
Total number of applications that passport services have received, at the time you have applied.
It is also affected by the office you have applied in, and the location you have applied for.
The date of your departure would also make some difference.
Time to travel: traveling for holidays (Christmas), environmental catastrophe or some significant international event (World cup or Olympics) may also disturb the process. As in such situations more people apply for passport and it results in slowing down the process.
Although there are cases where people get it sooner, like in 3 weeks without an expedited service, it's not recommended to take the risk!
Do passports really take 4-6 weeks? Not necessarily! Need a passport in less time? Go for expedited passport service (Only for the applicants from USA) at U.S. Department of State Passport Agency. You can apply for this service in person or through a mail. It requires an additional $60 fee plus any other delivery charges. The service makes sure you get your passport within 3 weeks. You can get it even earlier, if you show urgency. Here’s the official information:
An expedited service is valid for all type of applications like renewal of passport, first-time applying for one, for any amendments in the existing passport or replacing the lost one.
You must provide the expedited services with the proofs of your immediate international travel.
For the cases like first-time applicants, lost or stolen passports and for kid’s passports, you would have to appear in person in the passport service centers.
Do passports really take 4-6 weeks, is it same for renewal? Renewal depends on the type of services regular or expedited. Regular renewal takes 4 to 8 weeks. Want it earlier? Apply in Regional Passport Agency. It will get it done within 2 to 3 weeks, once you have submitted all the related proofs of your plan to travel within that specific time.
Where you are applying for passport? If it’s through a passport office, it may take up to six weeks (3 weeks if expedited).
You should apply in US Department of State Passport Agency, if you have to travel within 2 weeks and want a foreign visa within a four weeks’ time span.
Those who doubt how long do passports take and how to get it earlier, apply at some regional agency to get it done faster.
For new passport, renewal, adolescent’s passport, kid’s passport, apply in Acceptance Facility.
These rules do not apply for the people who want to apply for US passport from outside of USA.