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US Passport Processing Times 2017

I’m not going to lie. I totally lost my passport. I got it in 2012. I used it when we went to Europe that fall. All was fine and dandy, brought it home with me. Kept it in our little accordion file (which was usually kept in the safe) and somehow, after I used it again through Canada when we moved to Minnesota, I lost it. I kept thinking it would turn up. Why wouldn’t it? I hadn’t been anywhere with it. No one had been in the home. Where the heck did it go? And only mine was missing. The kid’s passports and my husband’s passports were all still in that accordion file. My only theory is that I misplaced it, meant to put it back and lost it… or one of my kids got it. Two theories, I guess.

We moved and I used my passport card at that time and figured I’d probably find it when we unpacked at the new house. Wrong. I didn’t find it. I looked EVERYWHERE. That stupid thing was nowhere to be seen. Seriously. How could I lose it? I swear, I misplaced it but I don’t even know when I last saw it. Knowing my luck it fell into a crack or crevice or some tiny nook and cranny at our old house and six new owners from now, someone’s going to find it.

What to do if you lose or misplace a passport

First, make sure it’s really lost because once you report it, the old passport is a dud. I’ve done that with my bank cards before, swearing up and down I lost it then finding it minutes after I hang up the phone after deactivating my card. That sucked, big time. So, make sure it’s really lost. Check everywhere. Tear your house apart like I did. Then, if it truly is lost, you’ll need to submit a DS-64 form. You can print it off and mail it in, but there’s an online option now which is kind of nice. They’ll ask you for your name, passport numbers, etc. I found the form a little difficult because how am I supposed to know the number if I don’t have it in front of me? Memo to self, write the number of the next one down and put it somewhere safe.

You can find the DS-64 form here: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/lost-stolen.html

It’s relatively painless. Once you finish the report, you can even fill out a request for a new passport. It will fill in all the blanks and spaces for you with your information. Once you’re done, you print it and take it to your local agency with your new passport photos (which for me, was the post office). DO NOT SIGN IT UNTIL YOU GET THERE! If you sign it beforehand, you’re going to have to fill out an entirely new application. Just don’t do it, okay?

Don’t know where to take your finished application?

Usually, the post office will accept completed passport applications, but not always. Sometimes they have specific hours that they accept passports. The easiest way to figure out where to take your passport is to use THIS website to locate the nearest acceptance agency.

2017 US Passport Processing Times

Last time I applied for a passport, it was a whole lot of sitting and waiting. It’s still a lot of sitting and waiting, but fortunately for me (and everyone else waiting), you can now track the status online via the U.S. Department of State’s passport tracking website. While times may vary, applications submitted around the same times tend to have similar processing times, as the times are based on passport application volume; the more passports submitted, the more likely it is to take longer, toward the 8-week side of the spectrum, vs. the shorter side of 6 weeks. Of course, this is entirely different if you submit for an expedited passport.

I applied for “routine service” with a processing time of 6-8 weeks.

  • 3/27/2017 – Submitted application, photos, and fees at my local passport acceptance facility.
  • 4/3/2017 – Online tracking information updated from “not found” to “Your passport is currently being processed.”
  • 5/3/2017 – Online tracking information updated to “Your passport application is in the final processing stages.” and “This means you should receive your passport on or about 05/08/2017.”
  • 5/5/2017 – My passport arrived!
  • 5/6/2017 – My documents were returned to me!

Have you submitted a passport application recently? Was it routine service or expedited? Card or book? What’s the status on yours?

 

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