Passports

How Our Office Can Help

If you require assistance with your efforts to secure your U.S. passport, our office is happy to help.

Please note that at this time, there are extreme delays with passport applications, even those that have been expedited. The Department of State’s processing times (up to 12 weeks for routine; up to 6 weeks for expedited) do not include mailing times. As of July 1, 2021, the Department of State has further noted that passports are routinely taking 12-18 weeks to be returned to you, from the date you send in your passport. Plan ahead for any expected travel with this in mind. Best steps on how you can submit a passport renewal, schedule an appointment, or check on the status of the renewal are below. Please be aware that our office cannot schedule an appointment for you and that the online portal and National Passport Information center call line are the best and fastest ways for you to check the status of a renewal in progress.

Our office can submit an urgent inquiry on your behalf to the appropriate U.S. Passport Agency officials, asking them to provide the status of your passport, and if necessary, to request their assistance in expediting the processing and completion of the passport. While we cannot guarantee you a favorable outcome, we will do our best to help you receive a response to your problem.

This type of request is a multi-step process. If you would like assistance contacting the agency, please fill out our Help with a Federal Agency form.

Please Note: The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a) requires that Members of Congress or their staff have written authorization before they can obtain information about an individual's case. We ask for a wet signature to proceed with this type of request.

Due to public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some passport application acceptance facilities still remain closed or may be providing limited service to the public. Please contact your acceptance facility location directly to determine if it is open and accepting U.S. passport applications. Our office will not be able to schedule an appointment for you. To schedule an appointment, please use the online portal here or call 1-877-487-2778.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please call our Houston office at (713) 353-8680.

What You Need to Know

Planning to Travel? Apply Early! Apply at least six months before planned travel. Due to limited availability for urgent travel appointments, the Department of State cannot guarantee you can receive in-person service at a passport agency or center. The Department of State is prioritizing customers with life-or-death emergencies.

What to Expect:

  • Mail delays are impacting when the Department of State receives passport applications for processing. Their processing times begin the day we receive your application, not the day you mail it.
  • Routine service can take up to 18 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 18-week timeframe includes up to 12 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end.
  • Expedited service (for an additional $60) can take up to 12 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 12-week timeframe includes up to 6 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end.

For more information on U.S. passport services please click here.

How to Renew your Passport

Applying in Person

You must apply in person using Form DS-11 if at least one of the following is true:

  • You are applying for your first U.S. passport
  • You are under age 16
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16
  • Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago

If none of the above statements apply to you, you may be eligible to Renew using Form DS-82.

Renewal by Mail

If you are eligible to renew your passport via mail, you must:

  • Fill out Form DS-82
  • You must submit your most recent passport with your application.
  • If the name you are currently using is different from the name on your most recent U.S. passport, you must provide a certified copy of the legal name change document.
  • Attach one photograph to the application. To avoid processing delays, be sure your photo meets all the photo requirements.
  • Include the fees in the form of a personal check or money order. For information on forms of payment and a full list of fees for routine and rush service, please see Passport Fees.
  • Mail your completed application, including your most recent passport, name change document (if applicable), photo, and fees, to one of the addresses below. Please see Processing Times for information on how long it will take to get your passport.

If you live in the United States, you must use the United States Postal Service (USPS) to mail your renewal application and supporting documents. If you live in Canada, you should use Canada Post. Please do not use other delivery services such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL. Only USPS or Canada Post can deliver to the PO Box addresses listed on Form DS-82. If you use UPS, FedEx, DHL, or another company to send your application, the application will be returned to you.

For information on renewing your U.S. passport by mail click here.

Tracking your Application Status

What You Need to Check Your Application Status

You can check your application status online or by phone. You will need the following information:

  1. Last Name
    • Include suffixes (ex. Jones III, Patton Jr, etc.)
    • Include hyphens as appropriate (ex. Jackson-Smith)
  2. Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
  3. Last Four Digits of Social Security Number

Check Online

  1. Access the Online Passport Status System to check your application status.
  2. You may not be able to get a status update for 6 weeks after you apply or renew. During these 6 weeks, your application and supporting documents are safely on their way to us. 
  3. Receive automatic email updates on the status of your application by entering your email address after locating your pending application in the Online Passport Status System.

Check By Phone

  1. Call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY) to speak to a Customer Service Representative (Se habla español) on Mondays-Fridays from 8:00am to 10:00pm Eastern Time (excluding federal holidays).
  2. You may not be able to get a status update for 6 weeks after you apply or renew. During these 6 weeks, your application and supporting documents are safely on their way to us. 

For more information on checking the status of your application click here.

Expedited Passports

Expedite a Renewal by Mail

Select this option if your international travel date is in the next 12 to 18 weeks.

Form DS-82 must be mailed in unless you are eligible to renew in-person at a passport agency or center. To find out if you are eligible to use Form DS-82, see our Renew a Passport page.  Here's how to expedite a renewal by mail:

  • Fill out your DS-82 application and collect your documents.
  • Be sure to include the $60 expedite fee in addition to the normal application fee. See Passport Fees for more information.
  • Clearly mark "EXPEDITE" on the outside of the envelope. 
  • The expedite fee does not include the optional 1-2 day delivery fee.
  • Purchase USPS' Priority Mail Express for faster shipping of your application to us.

For more information regarding passport expedites please click here.

Expedite at an Acceptance Facility

Select this option if your international travel date is in the next 12 to 18 weeks. 

You must use Form DS-11 when applying at an acceptance facility. If you need to renew your passport, you should use Form DS-82 and mail it to us. Here's how you expedite at an acceptance facility: 

  • Fill out your DS-11 application and collect your documents. See How to Apply to find the right form for you. 
  • Be sure to include the $60 expedite fee in addition to the normal application fee. See Passport Fees for more information.
  • Find the acceptance facility nearest you to turn in your application and fees. Contact the facility before arriving to determine if an appointment is required.
  • Purchase USPS' Priority Mail Express for faster shipping of your application to us.
  • The expedite fee does not include the optional 1-2 day delivery fee of your completed passport.

Expedite at a Passport Agency or Center

Because of changing local COVID-19 rates and restrictions, agencies and centers are offering an extremely limited number of appointments for in-person services if you need to travel internationally in the next 72 hours (3 business days). Plan ahead and apply early.

Life-or-Death Emergency Service: To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our workforce and customers, we are prioritizing in-person appointments at our agencies and centers for customers who are traveling internationally in the next 72 hours (3 business days) due to a qualified life-or-death emergency. If you need this service, you must call the Passport Agency

Urgent Travel Service: Some agencies and centers are also offering extremely limited appointments for customers who have urgent international travel in the next 72 hours (3 business days) for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency. To make an appointment, check first for availability on our Online Appointment System. The date of your appointment must be within 3 business days of your international travel. If you need a foreign visa, the date of your appointment must be within 10 business days of your international travel. Because appointments are extremely limited, you may not be able to make one on your first try.

Consider the following alternate options if you cannot make an appointment online for Urgent Travel Service:

  1. Continue to check our Online Appointment System several times during the day as other customers may cancel their appointments.
  2. Apply for expedited service.
  3. Call wait times are longer than usual. If you call us to try to make an appointment, understand that customer service representatives do not have access to an alternate reservation system. What you see online is what they will share with you by phone.