How Long Does it Take to Get a Passport

Too many people put off getting a passport until they absolutely need one. The reason for this is worry as they do not know the answer to the question; How long does it take to get a passport?

Things have changed since 9/11 so the question does not have a straightforward answer. The first response to the question, How long does it take to get a passport?” is, “What type of passport are you asking about?

Now things are confusing. Americans think there is only one kind of passport. That is incorrect. There are two types of U.S. Passports.

U.S. Passport Card versus U.S. Passport Book
Since July 14, 2008 the U.S. Passport Center has produced more than 2.7 million Passport cards for U.S. citizens that requested them.

The passport card is not meant to replace the American passport book. For citizens of the United States that travel across certain borders by land or ocean the card can be use. If a passport book has been issued the citizen may use that in place of the card. More information on what border crossings will accept the passport card can be obtained from links provided at the end of this article.

Okay, so the question still stands, How long does it take to get a passport and is there a difference in length of time between the passport book and the passport card?”

At this time, for either the U.S. Passport Card or the U.S. Passport book how long it takes depends on your needs and if you already have a visa to a foreign country in process.

The U.S. Passport office says on their website that as of December 3, 2011 routine passport card and passport book applications process in 4 to 6 weeks from the time of application receipt.

The U.S. Passport office says that as of December 3, 2011 expedited passport card and passport book service is taking approximately 2 to 3 weeks door to door. There is a caveat with that timing. That is when overnight courier service is requested and paid for, in advance, in both directions by the person requesting the passport card or passport book.

Any U.S. citizen living or travelling outside the United States and they need a renewal or replacement for their passport they must report to the U.S. Embassy or Consular Office. Only expedited service is available in that case.

So delaying application for new passport cards, or books, or for renewals is a mistake that could delay your travel plans.

Many U.S. citizens have questions, and concerns, about this new U.S. passport card. These concerns have come up because this new card has an embedded computer chip. For more information on the passport card, and passport issuance see this link; http://travel.state.gov/passport.

One week after any passport application has been made the progress of the application can be tracked on line at http://travel.state.gov/passport/status/status_2567.html .

With this information in hand, now you can calculate, How long does it take to get a passport.

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