New ID laws across the country, as well as Trump’s travel ban and a whole host of other travel issues have led a lot of people asking: exactly how long does it take to get a passport?
The short answer is that passport application turnaround time varies–by when you apply, as well as where you live, and whether you are doing a passport renewal (You can actually complete a passport renewal application online, which makes it a very quick and easy process) or an initial application.
The passport office near me said to expect my passport within six weeks. I was completing an initial passport application, and I think that’s the company line. (When you ask, how long does it take to get a passport? they will always give you the same response; incidentally, Google will too.)
But my passport application was processed a lot more quickly than the office suggested; I had my passport in my hand within 2 weeks. This is altogether impressive, considering how slow our government is at getting anything done.
If you’re in a real rush to get your passport (I completed my passport application well before my late June departure date just to be on the safe side.) there is an expedite service available to travelers under certain conditions if you’re willing to pay for it.
But in the end, I would say that if you’re completing your passport application at least a month prior to your travel, you’re probably safe. Most people I spoke to when asking how long does it take to get a passport? Shared stories similar to mine, and in fact the longest turnaround time I have heard about anyone waiting in recent years was about three and a half weeks.
So hopefully that answers your question, How long does it take to get a passport? From government sites you’ll always get a longer timeline, but the reality is that you can expect your passport application to be processed and complete within a month.
Also, you can save some money on your passport by taking your own passport photo as I described in this earlier post.