How to Track a U.S. Passport
You waited until the last possible moment to apply for that passport, and now you're biting your nails as you wait by the mailbox every afternoon. There's an easier way to track your passport application. In most cases, you can use the State Department's online passport application status check to figure out exactly when it will be mailed out. All you need is your name, date of birth and Social Security number.
Track your passport application status online by using the State Department's online passport application status check. You'll need to input your last name, birth date and Social Security number.
You know perfectly well that it will take between four and six weeks from the time you submit a regular application to the passport acceptance facility before your passport shows up in the mail. You can cut that time down to three weeks by paying to expedite the application. You can even slice it down a little further by paying for next-day home delivery once the passport is processed. So that should give you the confidence to sit back and wait. But it doesn't always work that way.
Anyone who is waiting for a passport for an upcoming trip knows the anxiety and fears that the passport application will be lost in the mail or stolen on the way to the State Department, or that the passport itself will be lost or stolen somewhere between the State Department and your mailbox. These things do occasionally happen. Not often, but from time to time, passports get lost in the mail.
So what's an anxious traveler to do? Obviously, expediting your passport is high on the list of possible remedies if you think of it soon enough. Yes, the fee seems outrageous for an early arrival of only a week or two, but it could save you a lot of stress. Once you've submitted your passport application, though, it's too late to do anything – but wait, is it?
Tracking Your Passport
The State Department, possibly tired of calls from frantic passport applicants, has set up a tracking system. You can go online to the U.S. Passport Application Status page of its website and find out what is going on with your passport. Don't try this the day after you've submitted the application, though. Tracking isn't possible until at least seven to 10 business days have passed from the date of your application.
At the website page, all you have to do is enter your last name, date of birth and Social Security number. It will check your passport and come back with the news. And what's more, you can enter your email address and get regular updates as the application status changes. If the Online Passport Status System indicates that your new passport was mailed out more than 10 business days ago and you haven't received it, you should contact the National Passport Information Center for assistance in finding or replacing it for free.