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passport dilema

I applied for my passport on March 22nd. My husband applied on March 30th. It's now been almost 15 weeks for me, 14 for him. Regretably, we didn't get the expedited service. Do any of you know if there is a way to pay the extra for expedited service now? Our trip to Belgium and Germany is Sept. 4th. What really worries me is if there is a problem that needs to be rectified, by the time we are notified, it may be too late to correct it. How long is it now taking to get a passport? I thought it was around 12 to 14 weeks. Thanks for your comments.

Posted by
80 posts

According to the most recent info, as long as you have a copy of your passport application and a photo ID, you will be able to fly. Plus, you still have more than six weeks for them to arrive. I would relax and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Posted by
505 posts

That's only for Canada or the Carribean. For the rest of the world you MUST have a passport. There are no exceptions.

I think you are probably OK - I think even the worst delays are only in terms of 2 - 3 months, so with five months between submission and departure date, it should arrive.

Kate

Posted by
515 posts

I am having the same dilemma- applied 4/19 and no sight of it at week 12. I haven't heard of any reports of others who chose routine service and received theirs. My locater says I should receive it in 10-12 weeks which is not going to happen. If I knew then what I know now - I would have expedited as well. The one option I think others have had success with is contacting their state US senator but that's only good if you are traveling within the next two weeks - not much margin for error. I'm still trying to stay positive.

Posted by
112 posts

The first thing you need to do is find out what
center your application is in.
Go to http://travel.state.gov , at the top click
on passports. Scroll down on left and click on
on About Passport Service, then on Nat'l passport
info center. There is the information that you
need to find out about your passport.
There is a phone #. I am sure a long wait on
the phone.
You may be able to expedite at this phone # or
you may have to do it at the passport center that
has your passport. The expedited fees are going
to be refunded to those who ask.
Let me know how you do. Good Luck

Posted by
1568 posts

You may have to contact your Senator or Congress person.

Posted by
1449 posts

I have seen replies that contacting your local Congressman can get your passport to you.

Posted by
3313 posts

Call your Congressperson's local office. Almost all have staff who specialize in helping resolve passport problems. Given the reports on current delays, you don't want to wait too long.

Posted by
112 posts

I think your Congressman will only help if you
are 2 wks away from traveling.

Posted by
108 posts

Thanks to all of you for your help. I do have the locator #'s for our applications, which I got from the website, but even after emailing them last week, I've not received a reply. Most likely it would only be the standard "your passport if currently being processed and you should receive it within 10-12 weeks from the date you applied." I may try calling first, then I'll contact our congressman. I'm not good at exercising patience. I'm picturing our applications on the bottom of a pile of several hundred,thousand more applications. I don't like to take chances. Had I known the scope and severity of this thing, I definitely would have "expedited" it to begin with. Thanks, again.

Posted by
108 posts

I want to add that we do personally know a representative in our state government, a childhood friend of the family, who does not represent our district, but could possibly contact the representative who does. Hopefully, we may not have to wait until 2 weeks before the trip. If the call to the passport agency doesn't produce any results, this will be our next recourse.

Posted by
1 posts

I had applied on March 25th and I did not have the expedited service. As of July 1 I had not received my passport and could not get any information until 14 days before departure for my trip. I called my congressman's office and they handled the situation. My passport was delivered 1 week later. I would recommend contacting your local congressman as they have people on staff handling passport problems. Good luck

Posted by
108 posts

Thanks Noreen! I had read that the passport office wouldn't even speak to you until 2 weeks before your trip. I think I'll just go to Plan B and call my congressman to begin with. I don't want to wait around too late, and find that there is a problem that needs to be corrected. Thanks for the advice.

Posted by
31 posts

When we applied for our passport at our post office in Colorado, we were told that you may expedite your passport at any step of the way and that when you apply it is NOT now or never.

We applied for our passports on May 3rd and my husband got his 2 days ago so I assume that mine and our children's will be here soon. I hope so...my husband is not going to get away with traveling to Italy on his own! It has the issued date listed on the passport itself which is interesting to see when they did it.

Application date 5/3
Issue date 7/7 (we're buying a lottery ticket..)
Received date 7/10

Don't worry. (I know, easier said than done, I'm a worrywort too) Enjoy your vacation!

Posted by
108 posts

I didn't have much luck with our local US Congressional staffer. They adhere to the "2 weeks prior" policy, although she did offer to send in the congressional inquiry on Aug. 1, and post my departure date as Aug. 15, which is some improvement, but not what I had in mind. I'm not giving up...I have other courses of action to try.

Posted by
108 posts

Cause for celebration, everyone: Checked online- status-check late tonight just in case, and couldn't believe what I saw. My passport is in the mail...should be here by Monday. Fifteen weeks must be the new norm for some. After all the stressing, now I can rest a little easier about my husband's application which was sent a week after mine. Thanks to all of you for your help and encouragement. Hope everyone else can get theirs' sooner.

Posted by
2 posts

I applied for my US passport on April 10th and as of today (July 20) it has still not arrived! I leave on Aug 2nd for my trip and am starting to panic. I called the National Passport Info Center yesterday (and am hold with them again right now...) and spoke to an unencouraging woman who said four months isn't unusual for the wait at this time, and that all she can do is contact the agency and request a rush on my application. I'm pretty much in a panic at this point (and kicking myself for not paying for an expedited application!), and I'm going to contact my congressperson thanks to your recommendations. Wish me luck!

Posted by
108 posts

That is the way to get it done. I received my passport on Monday, but have not received my husband's pp. A congressional staffer from our congressional representative's hometown office was the one to get this moving. I was informed by the staffer on Monday afternoon that she had put in a congressional inquiry on Fri. They actually processed mine the same day, and it was sent Priority mail that evening at 12:32 AM. The staffer said she would continue to check on my husband's pp, and hopefully it won't be long before it's also processed. It's now in it's 15th week. Good luck with yours!!

Posted by
2 posts

Update: My congressman's office pretty much said "nope sorry nothing we can do" on account of it's so backed up. This is insane.

Posted by
108 posts

Liz, Try another US representative (or senator) in your state. I got the same treatment the 1st time. Even go to the congressman's hometown. I believe they have more experienced, more accommodating staff (at least in my case). Don't give up...get the numbers at all of their different district office locations around the state...be persistant, but polite. Eventually, you may get a staffer who is sympathetic, and will go to bat for you. Don't take "no" for an answer. Good luck with this!!!

Posted by
31 posts

I'm going to add to my previous post with a passport update-

My husband had-
Application date 5/3
Issue date 7/7 (we're buying a lottery ticket..) Received date 7/10
I forgot when I posted earlier to mention that he had a passport to exchange. It was not a "renewal" because he didn't meet the criteria (it expired more than 5 years ago & he was below the age of 16 at the time)but he was able to use it as proof.

For myself and kids we had the same application & issue date but recieved ours today. (the 19th) We only had birth certificates. They return your original passport or birth certificate in a mailing after the passport so that if it gets lost for some reason you haven't all lost your eggs in the same basket.

It's sent Priority Mail.

I hope this helps.
Good luck,
Missy

Posted by
112 posts

Liz, to make you feel a little better, today is
the 19th.

Expediters can do it fairly reasonable if given
2 weeks, after that I think it is probably very
expensive. As a last resort???
This pp situation is making everybody crazy.
I really feel for you.

Posted by
970 posts

Liz, that's a lame response from your Congressman's office. I wouldn't be hesitant to publish his name, not that it's difficult to find the rep for Brooklyn. I'd also be tempted to call one of the consumer protection reporters at an NYC TV station and ask them to find out why this guy told you to go away. Given all the publicity about passport delays, a refusal by a Congressman to help a constituent is legitimate news.

At the least, call the Congressman's office back and tell them you will take your case to a TV station if they say no a second time. Try to speak with someone up the food chain, not some 20-something staffer who'd say no because he'd be the one doing the work.

Plenty of Congressional members have staff working passports. If your Congressman doesn't want to help, he owes you an explanation. He's almost certainly got a local constituency affairs office. Try calling, or visting, that.

Posted by
515 posts

Here is a very useful website with plenty of information, numbers and e-mail addresses. I found this off of CNN's website looking for passport delays.

http://whirledview.typepad.com/whirledview/2007/07/passports-conti.html

I got my passport within 72 hours of making a phone call to the NPIC. I did also fax my US Senator but I'm not sure his office had much to do with it since I received a letter yesterday dated 7/17 stating they were working on it and I received my passport 7/13 after the NPIC changed it's status to expedited. It was sent by Fed-Ex.

Posted by
108 posts

Liz, I agree with J.C. On my first try, I also got an arrogant 20-something, who obviously thought she owned the world. The fact is, you are within two weeks of your departure date (taking into account that congressional offices are not open on the weekends) and any congressional office should be trying to assist you. If you get nowhere with one, try another, even another office of the same congressman, which is what I did. Others are getting it done, and you deserve help likewise. Don't let the door slam in your face again. If you create enough of a stir, someone will listen. Use what leverage you can.

Posted by
1 posts

Congressmen and their staff are not wizards. The jam-up at the State Department is real.

Posted by
16 posts

I was in the same situation. Your congressmen can help. Also you would have to wait two weeks before you travel but you can get an emergency appointment at your passport center(federal building). They can give you a passport within the same day. I didn't believe it. But they can. Make sure you have another copy with the seal on your birth certificate, and two more passport photos. Call them everyday. I did and it payed off.

Posted by
1 posts

We applied about the same time, we called our congressman office they expedited in a week.Believe me we were also sweating it out. You also can go to local Federal offices and get in 1 day but you have to call and get a number.

Posted by
108 posts

My husband, and I now have our passports, thanks to the staff of our US Congressman. Once we contacted them, mine arrived in two days, my husband's arrived a week later. I did have to call the staffer again about his, and it was sent Fed-Ex the next day. I have a feeling if I had not gotten this help, we would still be waiting.

Posted by
515 posts

Gina~ Glad you are set to go now. From what I've been reading things may be getting worse as I think the Charleston Office is moving everything over to the new Arkansas facility and some people's passports are still caught in a 'lockbox' which apparrently is difficult to extricate from. Also the reprieve for those traveling to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean is expiring 9/30 and so they will then need to apply for passports to visit those countries. Fortunately the summer travel push will be over by then!

Posted by
4 posts

A lady where I work went to the processing center in Seattle and simply sat there until she received her passport. Her flight to England was only days away when she did this. It worked and she went to England for vacation.