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So my US passport has less than a year of life left on it. The current renewal times border on the ridiculous. 12 weeks for expedited and 18 weeks for "routine".

The only alternative seems to be for "immediate international travel", which can potentially get you an in-person appointment at a Passport agency that can renew the passport on the spot. However the appointments seem to be very hard to get and are in no way guaranteed.

That creates a chicken and egg problem: you need a confirmed flight to even apply for an appointment but if you don't get one, you are screwed and can't take the flight.

Questions

  1. Has anyone any recent experience with US passport renewal that they can share?
  2. Any idea and suggestions how to avoid being stuck in the country for 3 months or more ?
  3. Has anyone tried booking a "bogus" flight just in order to get an appointment? For example: booking a fully refundable ticket to get an appointment and then cancelling it after the passport has been issued?

Any other ideas are welcome.

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    I am a member on a couple of travel groups where a few recent posts have suggested the actual wait times for renewal have come down again recently. I have no actual experience with it though
    – Midavalo
    Aug 21 at 15:32
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    There was a recent comment on another question that said that wait times were a lot lower than the ones advertised. Can’t seem to find it, though.
    – jcaron
    Aug 21 at 16:39
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    I renewed mine this summer, 8 weeks start to finish, non-expedited. And 2 weeks of that was just for the postal service to deliver my application (was supposed to be 3-day priority mail but it took much longer). Mailed the application May 29, it was delivered to the Philadelphia passport office on June 15. On July 14 I got a status email that the application was received, and the fee check cleared my account the same day. July 26: status email that application was approved. The passport was shipped on July 27 and I got it on July 29. Aug 21 at 22:29
  • I'm not really sure that I should post it as an answer because it's purely anecdotal (and the "recent experiences" part of the question might be an off-topic "poll" anyway?). Aug 21 at 22:31
  • @NateEldredge. THANKS. that type of anecdotal information is really helpful!
    – Hilmar
    Aug 22 at 0:26

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