I am a travel agent on the side and my clients are all very nervous about the length of time to process new and renewed US passports in the post pandemic world. How long does a renewal or new passport application take in 2021?

  • 8
    Are you looking for a lot of people to post how long it took them? That is not the kind of questions/answers Stack Exchange looks for. And with the variations which I have seen in several answers here I doubt it will be useful at all.
    – Willeke
    Jul 22, 2021 at 13:32
  • 5
    An answer would be irrelevant and useless within weeks; also, you can google the answer (no effort made)
    – Aganju
    Jul 22, 2021 at 20:20
  • 2
    How is a question about obtaining a passport "not about traveling"? How absurd. @Aganju Since when is "irrelevant within weeks" a problem? There are dozens of other questions about changing circumstances, not only COVID but also relating to refugees, volcanic eruptions, and sporting events. Voting to reopen.
    – phoog
    Jul 25, 2021 at 21:19
  • Added a Covid tag (as passport processing is delayed due to the pandemic) and a tag to make it clear this question will become obsolete in a year or so.
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 26, 2021 at 1:48

2 Answers 2


The New York Times ran an article on this just last week.

appointments at passport agencies across the country remain elusive, and processing time for renewals by mail is lagging by 10 weeks or more

In-person appointments are only available for those traveling within 72 hours, and it has been like that for a couple of decades or so. One person mentioned in the article

mailed [his application] in for renewal and paid for expedited processing, which before the pandemic would have taken up to three weeks. After five weeks, with his passport still processing and his trip departure looming, he began hunting online for an appointment at one of the State Department’s 26 official passport centers and passport agencies, where he could renew in person and get the document in one day. It was much harder than he imagined.


Routine passport service by mail, according to the State Department, can now take up to 18 weeks, compared to six to eight weeks before the pandemic, while expedited service, which costs an additional $60 and took anywhere from a few days to three weeks before Covid-19, can now take up to 12 weeks.

The last time I renewed my passport by mail, it took two weeks even though I did not submit an expedited application. That was 12 years ago, and obviously the probability of that happening now is zero.

  • Would be nice to add details on odds of getting an appointment by making a call to their booking number (online system is now down).
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 22, 2021 at 21:30

I sent my US passport renewal application by Priority Mail on January 10, 2022. This was a non-expedited renewal, and I did not pay for accelerated delivery back to me. The new passport was in my mailbox on January 25, 2022.

This was less than three weeks, far less than the expected time periods (8 to 11 weeks) now shown on the State Department's Processing Time page.

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