Most of the time, passport processing proceeds without any problems. Every once in a while, though, travelers run into complications after they have mailed off their passport application for processing. Perhaps you need to get your new passport back earlier because you’ve realized you need to a get a visa for your trip, or perhaps your application is held up because of a tax debt you’ve now cleared. Perhaps you just want to make sure your application has been received, and hasn’t been lost in the mail! How can you find out the status of your application? Who can you call for help?
The best way to prevent problems before they occur, and to always be able to know exactly what’s going on with your passport application, is to use a passport expediting service. Not only will they get your passport completed and back in your hands as quickly as possible, but they are on top of your application’s status every step of the way. You’ll be able to talk to a service representative and get a status check any time you want! If anything unusual happens with your passport service, the service agents can speak directly to the Passport Agency on your behalf and resolve the issue fast.
If you have submitted your passport application on your own by mail, read on for our expert tips on how to get the help you need.
How to Check the Status of Your Passport Application
The US State Department has an online status check feature for passport applications submitted by mail. Application status is generally available online 7-10 days after you submit your application. To check your status, you’ll need to input your last name, birth date, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. However, this online status check can’t do much other than confirm that your application has been received and is in process.
Another way to check the status of your passport application is to call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778. An automated system provides passport information 24 hours a day, and customer representatives are available from 8am to 10pm Eastern Standard Time. You can also email them at NPIC@state.gov; please allow at least 24 hours for a response.
How to Get Extra Help with Your Ongoing Passport Application
If you really find yourself in a bind after your passport application has been submitted by mail, take heart. There are a few things you can do if calling the National Passport Information Center isn’t enough to solve your problem.
Travel writer Cynthia Drescher recently found herself in a tricky passport situation, which she resolved with the help of social media. After mailing her passport off for standard-speed processing – which can take up to 8 weeks – she scored an amazing deal on air tickets to Australia, but she needed to leave right away, and her passport was nowhere near complete. After making calls and sending emails to the National Passport Information Center without success, she sent out one message on Twitter, tagging @TravelGov, and was able to make contact with a representative of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, who helped her expedite her passport.
A tried and true method of getting help with a problem at the Passport Agency is to reach out to your US Senator or Congressional Representative. All you need to do is call their office in Washington and explain your issue to one of their staff members, who can make some calls on your behalf to the State Department. Congressional staff have insider access to the US government, and as a constituent, you are able to ask for their help!
If you need advice about passports, PassportInfo.com is here to answer your questions. Please note, though, that we are not part of the US Department of State, and we are not able to access your passport status or intercede with the Passport Agency.