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How to track a passport application

Updated February 21, 2017

Recently, the amount of time for a passport application to be processed has taken much longer than in the past. The average wait is several months. During this time many people begin to wonder whether their application was lost or forgotten or possibly never arrived. The government is willing to help people in this respect by allowing status of passport applications to be checked online.

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  1. Visit the proper website to check on the status. There is only one place to go to check this information: the Department of State. Any other website claiming to have this information will not give you the actual status of your application and could possibly be fraudulent as you will need to give sensitive information.

  2. Properly enter your last name according to the guidelines provided in the instructions. Check the spelling of the name, make sure it is written just as it was on your application. This means to include all hyphens and accent marks your name may use.

  3. Enter your date of birth. This will help determine exactly who’s application the computer is searching for. If you have a common last name, this will narrow down the search and help assure its accuracy.

  4. Include the last four digits of your social security number in the appropriate box. This is a further layer of accuracy, for example if two people have the same name and birthday, this will separate them. In addition, this acts as a security function for the government.

  5. Allow five to seven days to pass before checking on the status of your application. Currently it takes the government up to a week to properly have you application entered into the system to the level where it can be electronically tracked.

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