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Passport Panic--what to do?

I'm holding off on passport panic, but I'm very frustrated and concerned regarding status. My 18 year old son and 16 year old daughter both had passports which expired this April. We had no plans to travel this summer until my son was offered an unexpected study abroad opportunity. As soon as we found out, we applied in person at a PO. He had to get a new passport since he is now an "adult." We expedited the applications, 2-day'ed the outgoing and paid for 2 day return. The applications were accepted at the destination on April 15 and the checks cleared on April 23. However, my daughter's application is showing "in process" and my son's shows "not available." His trip is July 13. I waited on hold for an hour to speak with a very nice representative who informed me that she can't even track the status until he has a reference number. The website doesn't allow me to take any action until 2 weeks prior to the trip. I haven't contacted a congressperson--yet. I realize there are still 7 weeks until the trip, but with no acknowledgement that the application has even been received after 6 weeks, I'm getting nervous! Advice? Thank you in advance!

Posted by
3803 posts

The length of time seems to be so variable. Our 17 turned 18 year old granddaughter was in a similar situation this spring with her passport expiring soon, needing to get an adult passport for the first time and a trip to Europe in late June. They did what you did by paying for the expedited service and mailing. It took about 8 weeks to receive her passport. I had also looked at the government website to see what the process could be for her if her passport didn’t arrive in time. There are steps you can take to get an emergency passport within x number of days in person at very specific passport (consulate) offices. We know of two people who had to do this and it wasn’t the kind of drama you want a week before flying.

I don’t think you should panic yet but here is what happens with the state departments and their Urgent Need to Travel rules:

Posted by
814 posts

Make the call to your congressman more so to confirm receipt by the passport office and get a reference number. Do you have a tracking number for your son's from the PO? Also, I would start lining up to make an appointment at a passport office on June 29, 2023. Be aware, you may have to travel to another city to get it handled.

Posted by
154 posts

I sent mine in for expedited end of March and received it about 2 weeks ago. The online status never changed from "processing" tho.

My kids' were accepted in person mid-march (not expedited) and haven't gotten theirs yet and both still say "processing".
We leave July 8 but I'm not panicking yet.

Posted by
16059 posts

For others, being prepared at all times is impossible.

I thought maybe renewing a year in advance, but to renew, they want your old passport leaving you stranded for a few months. They had an online service, but they shut that down in March. It's not really convenient no matter how you look at it.

Posted by
117 posts

I don't know if they're still in business, but years ago I had a trip to Japan that came up at the last minute, and used a company that literally walked my paperwork across the street in Washington, DC, and I had my passport in 24 hours. I forget the details now (this was 20 years ago), but I seem to recall that it cost me around $100.

This isn't the company I used, but I found this link:

If you're desperate, it might be worth looking into.

Posted by
11 posts

I sent mine in March 30th and got it back May 8th. I paid for expedited service.

Posted by
4528 posts

They had an online service, but they shut that down in March.

It is supposed to open up in the fall again after they work out the glitches from their test run.