• Nicole Lawrence

What Happens If I Don't Receive My Passport Before My Departure Date?


A common question travel advisors are asked, “What happens if I don’t receive my Passport in time for my trip?” Waiting for your Passport can be stressful, especially if you have already purchased your flight tickets, booked your hotel, and spent hundreds of dollars planning the vacation. Whether you waited until the last minute to apply or renew your Passport, or you applied weeks before your departure date, but it has been delayed, things can happen, and Passports can take longer than expected to be processed. Unfortunately, you can’t leave the country without it, and you don’t want to cancel the trip you have just spent hundreds of dollars on and are excited to go on, so what do you do? Here’s some advice if you're still waiting on your Passport.

Apply for your Passport BEFORE you book your trip

Planning a vacation can be stressful, to begin with, without the extra hassle of applying for or renewing your Passport. The simplest way to avoid the stress is when you are in the beginning phases of booking your vacation, talk with your Travel Advisor on the steps to obtain your Passport, and apply immediately. That way, you should receive your Passport in time, giving you peace of mind and a stress-free planning process.

Review your Passport Arrival Date

When you apply for your Passport or your Passport renewal, select the processing time option that is most beneficial to your departure date. There are (3) options to choose:

Routine Passport services - This is the most common option, with the expected delivery time of anywhere from four to six weeks.

Expedited Passport services - This option will fast track your expected delivery time to around three weeks.

Expedited at an agency - If your trip is quickly approaching, this would be your best option, with an expected delivery time of approximately eight business days.

Remember that while these are estimated time frames, your paperwork may have been filled out incorrectly, or additional documentation may be needed to complete your application, pushing these time frames even longer. So be sure to give yourself plenty of processing time.

Track your Passport Status

After you have submitted your application, it will take about 7-10 business days to be trackable online at the US Department of State’s Passport status page. There, you can then track to see if your Passport is still in process, being finalized, or is out for delivery. You can also sign-up to receive automated emails with updates on your status, keeping you informed without having to do any work. If you are using the expedited services, you should get more immediate tracking options, so be sure to review the details.

Contact the National Passport Information Center

If your departure date is nearing, and you still have not received your Passport, it may be time to contact the National Passport Information Center. You can speak to a Customer Service Representative who will provide you your Passport's status in a faster, more efficient way than requesting the information via email. Contact a National Passport Information Center Representative by calling: 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793. If you can’t get a hold of a Customer Service Representative, you can also call their automated phone Passport tracking system, which is available 24/7. Remember, you are unable to fly internationally without a passport.

I'd love to help you celebrate life occasions through travel when you are ready to return to travel. Send me an email to get started and we can help you apply or renew your Passport for a stress-free travel experience!

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