How long does it take to get a new passport?

Honestly, how long does it take to get a new U.S. passport? I know there are services that will speed it up, but how long does it take to get a new passport through regular channels? What are your experiences with this process?

I am going to apply for one tomorrow, March 3. I need to have it by April 10 or so. Does this seem possible? I live in Detroit and it will go through Chicago.

I got one a few years ago here in the US. IIRC, it took right around six weeks for it to be processed and mailed out to me via the “normal” service, which seems pretty close to the edge of your time frame. I’m pretty sure that the State Department offers an expedited service for an additional fee; I’d recommend checking that out.

Their home page, as you may already know, is at - there’s a bunch of FAQs with loads of passport-related info there.

Huh? Services that will speed up the process? You’re kidding, right? These would be like the guys who stand outside the unemployment offices, charging spanish-only speakers $25 for filling out their forms, when they have people inside who will do it for free? If you have anyone lower than a Congressman who claims they can expedite your passport, they’re scamming you.

I applied for a passport in the normal way, in a little office next to my local post office. Even though I had a previous passport which I lost in my files about 15 years ago, and I couldn’t provide the old passport number, I got my passport by mail in about 10 days.

You should have no problems getting a passport within 30 days. It should take about 2 weeks max, if you just fill out the form properly.

I believe if you can actually show up in Washington, DC you can get one in a couple of days.

I got mine in about a week in the mail, a few years ago.
You might try calling and asking how long it will take.


If you show them a reason (like plane tickets) and pay an additional fee (~$30) you can get one in about two days. I’ve done it, it works. It was pretty damn quick to get anything from the government. And it was at the passport office, with signs posted there, so I know it was legit, unless random peddlers set up shop behind the counter on the second floor of the federal building.

Here’s the deal with the passpost expediters. They exist to take care of people who are in serious hurries and that have money to burn. Think businessmen who find out Thursday that they have to travel overseas on Monday. This is a very difficult situation to get a passport in, but it actually can be possible with these services.

The main reason it’s difficult nowadays is that most (if not all) of the passport agencies require reservations to get a passport in person. This means they aren’t really useful anymore for people who are in a real hurry. To get around this, the expediters have a standing appointment (or 2 or 3) at the agency. You FedEx them your documents (which you have to have signed and witnessed at the local probate court, or such). They take those documents to the office at their appointed time and get them processed while they wait. They take the completed passport and FedEx it back to you. For this process they charge around $150, plus all the standard passport fees PLUS the standard expediting fee.

(Another problem with going in person is that there aren’t that many passport agencies. For instance, in the Midwest there is one in Chicago, one in Houston and one in New Orleans. That’s it. There are a whole lot of places that are a day’s drive from any of those places. So going in person may not be option.)

I got mine at the Boston office in less than 1 day by simply following the proper procedures and paying the expediting fee. This was two years ago and it worked seemlessly and without any help from an agency.

All you need to know about US passports & then some:

Note: You can also pay the gov more money if you want it sooner. You can pay a third party a lot more money to do the same thing. You need a local PP agency though.

I got a new one expedited a few years ago at the passport desk in the local post office. Didn’t need to show a plane ticket or anything, just paid the extra fee ($30 sounds right) and it was FedExed to me within the week.

I just had mine renewed in 2 weeks or so; my husband, when he first applied, though, apparently had something go funny with his IDs and after 3 months we had to drive to Seattle the day before the flight to get things worked out. Be cautious, just in case. I’d pay the expediting fee.

I think that some airports will have a postal center where you can get one very quickly, maybe even overnight. Detroit is a large city and has a large airport so that might be a possibility.

A few years a go I was booked to fly to a conference in Australia, but guess what? I hadn’t checked my passport, it was out of date. One year passports were no longer issued. I was fortunate that the closest passport office was in Liverpool, where I lived at the time. As I prepared my sob story, the guy behind the counter asked me when I needed the passport…I asked when I could possibly expect it, to which he replied “Well it won’t be until after lunch I’m afraid, can you come back at 1-30?”. I take back all the nasty things I ever said about scousers. So it was about 6 hours with no extra fee over and above the normal one, which was about £18 IIRC, about $30 (ish).

I know the question is about US passport,
but I resently got me a new one here in Sweden
and it took me just 2 days.

And I was a bit late a couple of years ago, so I had to pay double to get one permanent passport (which took me two days too) and one temporary (which I got immediatly) that was valid for one trip Stockholm-Berlin-Stockholm. It had a horrible pink cover, probably to warn people not to be late the next time their passport had expired. It really stuck out.