In 2023, a record number of Americans applied for U.S. passports, causing significant processing delays.
The State Department is suggesting to apply for a passport at least six months before your passport expiration or travel date.
Processing a standard passport currently takes 10 to 13 weeks, with an additional month for mailing.
For quicker service, travelers can opt for expedited processing at an additional cost of $60, which reduces the processing time to seven to nine weeks for passports.
Under certain conditions, travelers may expedite the process even further.
Life-or-Death Emergency Service is offered to individuals facing a qualifying emergency and planning to travel abroad within the next three business days.
Urgent Travel Service applies to travelers going abroad within 14 calendar days (new applicants) or five days (applicants with pending requests).
Before the pandemic, expedited passports took two to three weeks, and routine passport processing took six to eight weeks.
Americans may face travel restrictions in certain countries if their passport expiration is too close to their trip's end date, even if it hasn't officially expired.