American and Traveling Anytime Soon? You’ll Need to Renew Your Passport Super Early

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US citizens who have plans to travel anytime soon should be checking their passport’s expiration date.

According to the US Department of State, thanks to a combo of covid slowdowns and mail service meltdowns, online passport renewal services are currently at a 12-week turnaround for the actual passport processing plus five to six weeks for mailing time. In total, this means it could take up to four months to renew a US passport.

The State Department estimates expedited passport services will take 12 weeks in total from the date of sending the passport in until receiving a new one.

Because of these delays, the State Department recommends applying for a passport renewal a full six-month in advance. 

Passport services aside from an adult renewing an existing 10-year passport will likely require an in-person appointment. The State Department schedules these appointments according to a “life-or-death emergency” priority schedule, so getting one is not guaranteed.

For Americans who are already abroad or traveling soon with a passport that doesn’t expire in the next six months, it may be a faster turnaround time to renew at a US embassy overseas. Find the complete list of US Embassies and consulates here


Lauren Allain
Lauren is a freelance journalist from Seattle. She travels the globe in search of the best grocery stores, bouldering gyms, and snorkeling locations. Her mission at Freedom Is Everything is to help others make the transition into location-independent lifestyles.