Passport Operations In Response To COVID-19

April 30, 2020

(Information as of April 15, 2020 to date)

Because of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, effective March 20, the U.S. State Department has limited U.S. passport operations. Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you should wait to apply for or renew your passport until they resume normal operations. 

What if I have an emergency and need to get a passport quickly? The State Department is only able to offer in-person service at their agencies or centers for customers with a qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours. Learn more below to see if you qualify for a life-or-death emergency appointment.

Can I still apply? Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you should wait to apply for or renew your passport until the State Department resumes normal operations. While you can still apply in person for a U.S. passport at some acceptance facilities and renew through the mail, the State Department will not be able to meet their commitment of 6-8 weeks door-to-door for routine service. You should expect significant delays beyond this time period it normally takes to receive your passport and your citizenship evidence documents.

Can I expedite my passport? No. The State Department suspended in-person expedited service (normally 2-3 weeks door-to-door) on March 19 and are not offering this service to any applicants.

What if I applied before March 20? Expedited Service: Due to limited staffing resulting from COVID-19, the State Department still working on a small number of expedited applications submitted on and before March 19. While every effort is being made to the commitment of 2-3 weeks door-to-door service, you may experience additional delays if you applied and requested expedited service on or before March 19.

Routine Service: Due to limited staffing resulting from COVID-19, if you applied and requested routine service on or before March 19, receipt of your passport may extend beyond the usual 6-8 weeks door-to-door service. You should expect significant delays beyond this time period it normally takes to receive your passport and your citizenship evidence documents.

Sending Mail: If you received a letter from the U.S. Passport Service requesting additional documents or information to process your passport application, you may mail your response to the address in the letter. Expect significant processing delays.

What qualifies as a life-or-death emergency?

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (e.g., parent, child, spouse, sibling, aunt, uncle, etc.) that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 days). You must provide:

  • passport application with supporting documents
  • Proof of the life-or-death emergency such as a death certificate, a statement from a mortuary, or a signed letter from a hospital or medical professional. Documents must be in English or translated in English.
  • Proof of international travel (e.g. reservation, ticket, itinerary) specific to the emergency

To make an appointment at a passport agency or center for a life-or-death emergency, you must call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 (1-888-874-7793 TDD/TTY) on Monday- Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time, except federal holidays. Call 202-647-4000 outside of these hours to make an appointment.

Passport agencies in Connecticut, New York, and San Juan are closed to the public until further notice.

Can I apply in person now? Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you should wait to apply for your passport until we resume normal operations.

If you need to apply in person (all children under age 16 and first-time applicants), most post offices are still accepting applications and requiring customers to make an online appointment.

Most libraries and clerks of court are not accepting U.S. passport applications at this time. Please contact the library or clerk of court directly to confirm the status of its operations.

Can I renew now? Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you should wait to renew your passport until we resume normal operations.

You may be eligible to renew your U.S. passport by mail. If you are eligible to renew, you can complete the process by yourself and should not go to an acceptance facility. Follow the instructions on Form DS-82 and send your application and supporting documents to one of the addresses marked for routine service. Do not send the application to the expedited service address and do not include the $60 expedite fee.  The U.S. Passport Service will not be able to meet the usual commitment of 6-8 weeks door-to-door for routine service. Expect significant delays beyond this time period it normally takes to receive your passport.

BNI Message: Unless it is a truly urgent matter or an emergency, please restrict your foreign travel as many U.S. embassies and consulates around the world are not currently staffed or minimally so.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

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