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Current US passport wait? (Merged Threads)

Current US passport wait? (Merged Threads)

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Old Aug 4, 17, 9:23 am
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A reminder, this thread is about the American passport wait. A comparative to another country is of passing interest, but should not be a core discussion or a path to an Omni-esque debate.
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Old Aug 14, 17, 1:09 pm
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My experience with passport renewal (still in progress) differs significantly from those recently reported in this thread. Last July 21 I sent in a DS-82 renewal, submitting an up-to-date photo with a freshly expired passport, and requested a 52-page book and photocard. When I had heard nothing by August 12 (last Saturday), I checked online, where my application had a locator ID but no information on where it was in the process. I also haven't received any emails advising me of application status.

A few hours ago (today, August 14), I called the National Passport Center and was informed my application had entered the system on July 26 and was with the Washington passport office. (I had mailed it to Philadelphia, which is the designated reception point for Kansas residents.) As of the time I called, neither the new passport book nor the card had been mailed to me. I ended up paying $75.45 by credit card to have my application expedited, since I am leaving on August 22 for a driving trip that involves a crossing of the Canadian border on August 25.

I am not sure why my application is so delayed compared to others'; I have had no name changes, and although I did not specify travel dates on the application, I have applied in the past without travel dates and still had a three-week turnaround with routine processing. There were three main differences this time around: in 2007 I applied just for a regular-sized book through the US Embassy in London using DS-82 filled out using the free-text function in 'Acrobat', while in 2017 I applied domestically for both an extra-large book and a card, using the State Department Web form to autogenerate a PDF (which changes lowercase email addresses to all-uppercase).

I actually had DS-82 ready last March but procrastinated because my initial plan was to take my own passport pictures, with the help of a friend, using an improvised home studio setup. I had had to do this back in 2007 since I was living in Britain, where passport photo standards are not compatible with US ones, and I felt the DIY process (with the help of 'Photoshop') resulted in better photos at lower out-of-pocket cost (35c for two 2" x 2" photos cut out of a single 3" x 5" print with scissors, Exacto knife, or lever-arm paper cutter, versus $15 for two prints from Walgreens or a competing drugstore with photofinishing services). However, I never got around to this project because my current house lacks a well-lit bare wall painted in a light solid color to serve as a backdrop.

My advice to anyone similarly situated, with a tendency to make the perfect the enemy of the good, is to get the complete package sans photo ready to go (envelope, old passport, DS-82 filled out with date and signature, and check or money order), and then allow just one week to obtain DIY photos. If the week passes with no progress, then if the Walgreens near me is typical, you should be able to walk in with $15 and walk out less than an hour later with two photos that meet the State Department's size, pose, and illumination requirements. If your passport photo shows you with bed hair or suggests you are in the final stages of meth addiction, that is still better than paying half again to double the routine-processing rate for current and universally accepted proof of identity and citizenship. It also leaves fewer opportunities for mishap to have passport already in hand than to try to coordinate renewal with other travel planning.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 6:13 pm
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Another data point:

I received my renewal passport just 14 days after I mailed the renewal application via regular mail (70 cents postage), with standard processing. Mailed from upstate New York to Irving, Texas, on August 11; my check for the processing fee was paid by my bank on August 16; new passport was issued on August 22, and mailed via Priority Mail from Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, on August 23; received new passport today (August 25).

Kudos to the USPS and the Passport Office!
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Old Aug 27, 17, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Another data point:

I received my renewal passport just 14 days after I mailed the renewal application via regular mail (70 cents postage), with standard processing. Mailed from upstate New York to Irving, Texas, on August 11; my check for the processing fee was paid by my bank on August 16; new passport was issued on August 22, and mailed via Priority Mail from Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, on August 23; received new passport today (August 25).

Kudos to the USPS and the Passport Office!
Most of August tends to be relatively off-peak for new passport issuance dates/numbers, so that sounds about routine for this time of year.

For most of the year, I wouldn't recommend paying for expedited service unless needing to use the passport before 3 weeks from renewal application.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Another data point:

I received my renewal passport just 14 days after I mailed the renewal application via regular mail (70 cents postage), with standard processing. Mailed from upstate New York to Irving, Texas, on August 11; my check for the processing fee was paid by my bank on August 16; new passport was issued on August 22, and mailed via Priority Mail from Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, on August 23; received new passport today (August 25).

Kudos to the USPS and the Passport Office!
Mailed to Irving, TX and mailed back from Hot Springs National Park.

I mailed my renewal last Saturday and my check was cashed on Tuesday. Be interesting to see if my passport is generated from Hot Springs, AR also.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 3:06 am
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Originally Posted by Diplomatico View Post
Mailed to Irving, TX and mailed back from Hot Springs National Park.

I mailed my renewal last Saturday and my check was cashed on Tuesday. Be interesting to see if my passport is generated from Hot Springs, AR also.
Mailed via is not necessarily the same thing as being generated at, but what you may find is interesting is that it goes that way.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 7:46 am
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Family went last Tuesday Aug 22nd there were 7 of us total, 5 kids 2 adults. All 7 passports delivered today Sept. 1st. Looking on the tracking the passports game from Little Rock. I am impressed
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Old Sep 1, 17, 11:05 am
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A friend of mine flying with his family and realizing that his minor sons passport was about to expire, and they were flying the same day managed to get it done recently at the NY passport office in just under 4 hours all-in.
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Old Sep 6, 17, 9:27 pm
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Application mailed to Irving, TX on 19 August.

Passport received from Portsmouth, NH on 5 September.

Still waiting for passport card.
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Old Oct 9, 17, 10:00 am
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To all who are getting your passports

Are you Getting New Designs of the passport or still the old design?


Thanks
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Old Oct 9, 17, 11:58 am
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There still is no new design
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Old Oct 13, 17, 2:59 pm
  #102  
 
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I mailed mine Oct 2 to Philly, received notification it was received/processing Oct 6 and alerted it was mailed Oct 11. I just received it today. It has a return address of NH on the envelope but online USPS indicates it was mailed from Little Rock, AR. The design is the same. Still hoping I receive my old one at some point.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 8:41 am
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I have visas in my current passport that are still valid (Brazil etc). Will I get my current passport mailed back with the new passport when I send my current one in for renewal?
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Old Oct 16, 17, 11:46 am
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Generally yes, you will receive your old passport back, usually a few days after you receive your new one.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 11:23 pm
  #105  
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Put my renewal in the mail on 14 October. Got an email a little while ago that says it will be delivered on 26 October. Tracking says its coming from Hot Springs, Arkansas.
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