There are a few things that must be taken in to consideration when thinking about how long it takes to get a U.S. passport. Some people must sign their application in person at a passport agency, such as a city clerk’s office or post office. This will apply to you if you are in the following situation(s):
- Applying for first U.S. passport
- Under the age of 16
- Previous passport issued when under age of 16
- Previous passport lost, stolen or damaged
- Previous passport issued more than 15 years ago
- Name Change
You must present a birth certificate, a previously issued undamaged U.S. passport, a Naturalization Certificate or a Certificate of citizenship as evidence of U.S. citizenship. You must also present a government-issued ID as proof of identity. These two documents have to be not only presented, but a photocopy of each must also be submitted. It could take a couple weeks for some people to prepare and gather the required documents, so you should take that into account.
If you are instead seeking passport renewal, you do not need to apply in person. You can renew by mail. This will apply to you if you are in the following situation(s):
- Holding an undamaged expired passport
- Previous passport issued when 16 years old or older
- Previous passport issued within the last 15 years
- Previous passport issued in current name
U.S. Passport Processing Time
The U.S. Department of State says they process routine applications in about 4-6 weeks from the time of application. They provide an expedited service that processes applications in about 2-3 weeks as long as it is requested and paid for.