When Covid-19 first hit the U.S. in March, the State Department put a freeze on passport services.
That worked for quite a while because most countries closed their borders and public health directives across the globe discouraged leisure travel. But now, with more countries opening their borders to U.S. travelers, many people are asking about the status of passport services. Well, we have good news!
In late September, the State Department resumed regular passport services as well as expedited services by mail. Applicants can submit first time applications as well as renewals, and can also request expedited, non-emergency service for an additional $60 fee.
You can expect to wait 10-12 weeks for regular service and 4-6 weeks for expedited service from the date received at the U.S. Passport Office.
Should you require a passport in less than 4 weeks, applicants must make an in-person appointment at a regional passport office and submit documentation verifying your emergency situation that requires international travel.
Exceptions to the services by mail rule are children under 16 who must apply in person at a passport office and be accompanied by both parents and children 16-17 years of age, who can apply alone, but must also make an in-person appointment.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by mail to slow the spread of Covid-19.