How to Track Passport Applications

How to Track Passport Applications
Your backcountry hiking club booked a group trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. You've been stoked for months and have been purchasing the latest gear from an ultra-light all-weather tent to a solar battery charger. You turned in your passport application weeks ago and are still waiting for the last gateway to the adventure of a lifetime. By following these steps to check on the passport application process, you won't be left at home.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

U.S. Department of State

Step 1
Check the status of your passport application on-line by going to the U.S. Department of State website ( Many other websites may offer assistance, but only use the legitimate U.S. Department of State page to input sensitive identity information. Follow the link to securely input your information.
Step 2
Review the "Privacy and Computer Fraud and Abuse Notices and Disclaimers", the electronic document that describes privacy acts and your rights over sensitive information. Check the box signifying that you agree to comply and submit the form.
Step 3
Enter your name, date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Submit the information.
Step 4
The system will advise you if it has received your passport and the status of your application. It takes from five to seven days to track your application. You will be able to see if you are in the system and whether the State Department has even received your application.
Step 5
If you were planning to travel within the next two weeks, call the National Passport Information Center to check on the status and expedite the request if necessary. Phone: 1-877-USA-PPT. For automated information, you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To speak with an agent, call between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. If you are not traveling in the next two weeks, allow more time and check electronically or via phone.

Tips & Warnings

When filling out your application, make sure to include complete information, including any former names or aliases and a proper photo. You can get a passport photo taken at most drugstores or at the local post office. Check that each step has been properly filled out before submitting the application, as this is the most common reason for delays.
Passport applications usually take 7 to 10 business days to be processed. You may want to secure the arrival of your passport prior to making expensive international travel plans.

Article Written By Kay W

Kay W has more than 10 years of freelance writing experience, including technical papers, grants for youth and environmental nonprofits and consulting materials. With a Bachelor of Science in environmental engineering and a Master of Arts in environmental organizational leadership, Kay W has a diverse educational and technical professional background.

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