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How can I check my US passport application status?

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Question: How can I check my US passport application status?
Answer: In the wake of new travel rules imposed by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), being able to check your US passport application status has never been so important -- without this crucial document, US citizens can no longer return to the US from Mexico, Canada Bermuda and most of the Caribbean by air (land is a different story). And if those countries are in your travel plans and you've submitted a US passport application, you need to be able to find out what's going on with it well before you travel. Learn how to check your US passport application status:

Check Your US Passport Application Status Online

You can gauge your app's progress by looking online at the Department of State's website:

Be prepared to enter this information:

  • Your last name, including suffixes without punctuation except the hyphen (for example: Smith III, Crislip Jr, Jones-Smith)
  • Your date of birth in the following format: MM/DD/YYYY
  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number

The guv says you should know that it is currently (winter 2011) taking 7-10 days to see what's going on with your app online (in other words, wait that long after submitting and before looking).

Check Your US Passport Application Status by Phone

You can also check your US passport application status by phone between 6 a.m. - 12:00 midnight Monday-Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (excluding federal holidays). The Department of State says the best time to call is between 8:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. EST.

    Phone numbers:
    • 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778)
    • TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793

Leaving soon?

If you're leaving the country within 14 days and urgently need to submit an app, the government actually makes that really easy to do -- you do not need to pay an expediting service. Learn more:

Bon voyage!

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