Once you submit your application, you have to wait for the passport to be processed and approved. Typically, it takes four to six weeks for the state department to process a passport application. Five to seven days after you have submitted your application, you can track its progress online.
If you need your passport faster, you can pay an additional fee and get it expedited. Fees are subject to change, but at the time of writing, the expedited passport fee was an extra $60. This fee is charged on top of the application fee. Expedited passport applications are reviewed by the state department within 8 days after being received, and you should receive your passport within 3 weeks from the day that you applied for it.
If you have never had a passport before and you want yours expedited, you need to apply in person. In order to make an appointment for expedited service, you need proof that you are traveling within the next two weeks. If the country of destination requires a travel visa, your ticket needs to be booked within the next 4 weeks.
In rare cases, you can get your passport processed at the passport office, and this process allows you to receive your passport in as few as eight days. Unfortunately, this service is not available at every office. There are 28 passport agencies that can provide you with this level of expedited service. However, in order to get a passport this quickly, you need to have a qualifying need. If you are having a life or death emergency that requires you to be abroad quickly, for example, you may qualify for an expedited office passport. You need to apply in person, and you need to have proof of the emergency.
Expediting Passport Renewals
If you are renewing your passport, you should also expect the process to take four to six weeks. However, if you pay the fee and write EXPEDITE on the outside of your application envelope, you can get the passport back more quickly.