As a private courier, one of The Passport Office’s top questions is, “can I check my passport status?” While, in most cases, these callers aren’t clients, The Passport Office freely offers advice about getting more information regarding their passports and pending passport applications.
Today, we’ll be going through the steps you’ll need to take to determine the status of your passport. Additionally, we’ll be going over some lesser-known facts about seeking more information on your application and what avenues can and cannot yield your helpful information.
Check the Passport Status of a Pending Application
The U.S. Department of State offers an online passport status check system. Enter the name listed on the application, along with your social security number and date of birth. Unfortunately, the status check doesn’t give you much pertinent information. We understand how that can be frustrating.
You could call the U.S. Department of State directly if you need more information. It handles passport applications. If you contact them directly at 877-487-2778, you can talk to an agent who can give you more information.
An Important Note Regarding Passport Processing Centers:
We often receive calls from passport applicants who have applied through traditional means to get their passports processed. Whether they applied through a post office or courthouse, they call for more info regarding their pending application. Frequently, these acceptance facilities need more information regarding the application.
Passport application centers are not the places where your application is processed. Unless you apply directly through the U.S. Department of State in one of their few locations, the place you applied for your passport is just an office with the authority to submit your application.
These passport acceptance facilities only have more insight into your pending application than you would have by going to travel.state.gov. If you need more assistance, your only choice is to contact the U.S. Department of State directly, and if at that point you still need more information, you’ve already exhausted all avenues.
Checking the Validity of Your Passport
The process is simple for those interested in checking the status of an existing passport. If you’d like to know if a passport is still valid, simply check the information page on your passport booklet or card. There should be an issue date, sometimes abbreviated as ISS, and an expiration date, sometimes abbreviated as EXP. If the date exceeds your passport’s expiration date, your passport will expire. You cannot travel to another country in most cases if your passport is within three months of expiring, so if that’s the case, get your passport renewed immediately!
If you’ve lost your passport, you’ll have to get a new one. But if you’re curious whether that lost or stolen passport is still valid, you can figure it out by remembering the year you applied. A passport obtained by someone 16 or older is valid for ten years, while passports obtained by minors younger than 16 are valid for five years. So once you recall, the year the passport was issued, figure out how old you were at the time of application, and just add 5 or 10 years accordingly.
If you’ve already reported your passport lost or stolen via the U.S. Department of State, your passport has been canceled, and you cannot travel on it. Attempting to do so may even get you detained for questioning, mainly if you reported the passport as stolen. This means you should only report your passport as lost or stolen if you are sure it isn’t somewhere you can find it!
If Your Passport Is No Longer Valid, Consider Applying!
You should consider applying for a passport renewal if your passport has expired. Not having a passport might not seem like a big deal, but if you get sprung on by a surprise trip, it can take 6-10 weeks to receive your passport. Don’t wait months for your passport to be in the mail. Apply when your passport expires.
If you just realized your passport is expired and have a planned trip, don’t worry! There are options to get your passport back in less than ten weeks.
For example, if you can get an appointment with the U.S. Department of State, you can get your passport back the same day. The only way to get an appointment is to call their number, 877-487-2778, and the average wait time once on hold is about 2 hours.
Apply with The Passport Office
The Passport Office has been available since 1995, offering expedited passport services to travelers! We can provide passport turnaround within 3-5 business days! Apply today at the Passport Office in Hollywood, Tampa, Orlando, or Miami for your expedited passport needs!