You’ll definitely need to get a U.S. passport if you’re planning on traveling overseas. But simply applying for one isn’t enough, as you should keep track of it until you actually have it in your hands. Checking the status of your passport application is particularly important if you’re set to travel soon; of course, it’s always recommended to never book flights that require a passport unless you already have yours. You might also need to get your passport as soon as it comes out for booking hotels overseas.
Don’t know how to follow up on your U.S. passport? Here’s how.
Checking Your Application Status Online
This is by far the easiest way for you to check the status of your passport application, so it’s best to start here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html. After heading to the Department of State’s website, you’re need to input your last name (including suffixes), your birth date (MM/DD/YYYY), and the last four digits your social security number. Click “submit” and you’ll immediately be redirected to a page that shows what stage your passport application is at so far. The result will also tell you how much longer you have to wait to finally get it.
Don’t worry if you can’t see your application’s status online, especially if you just filed your application. As of 2016, it takes about 7-10 days from the day you filed your application before you can finally see your application’s status on the website.
Checking the Status by Phone
If for some reason you can’t check the status of your application online, you can also try getting it by phone. However, you can only do this between 6:00am and midnight on Mondays to Saturdays and from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Sundays; note that these are Eastern Standard Times, and the schedule covers federal holidays as well.
Between these times, you can call up the Department of State to find out what stage your application’s already at. They will usually tell you how long it will take for the whole process to be finished as well. According to the Department of State, the best time to call is between 8:30pm and 9:00am (EST). Apparently, this is the time with the fewest number of callers. So, unless you’re in a hurry, you might want to wait until the off-peak hours so you don’t end up holding the phone for too long. There’s a special line for the hearing impaired, +1 888-874-7793.
Checking the Status by Email
Failing those two methods above, you can resort to contacting the Department of State by email. Much like the online and phone inquiries, you’re going to need to give them your last name, birth date, and the social security and passport application numbers.
Among the three, this one takes the longest because the admin could have too many emails to respond to at any given time, so give them at least 24 hours to respond.