Passport worries

Old Mar 24th, 2007, 01:32 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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My daughter and I just got expedited passports and despite the 4 week warning, I got mine in 10 days! My daughter's came in two weeks. So I wonder about the extended time. My husband had told me you can change from regular to expedited after you apply, but I don't know how you do it. Good luck.
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Old Mar 24th, 2007, 01:35 PM
  #42  
ComfyShoes
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I just did mine (applied for regular, changed to expedited). Just call 1-877-487-2778. Fairly easy although a long wait and the woman on the other end definitely sounded like a Robot that needed prompting every couple minutes!
 
Old Mar 24th, 2007, 06:30 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Comfy,
Were you able to expedite the process ONLY after your application showed up in their system? I was told my application would take up to 4 weeks to show up and they could do NOTHING before it does
Karina
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Old Mar 24th, 2007, 06:32 PM
  #44  
 
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My daughter's renewal arrived today.She applied 11 days ago!
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Old Mar 24th, 2007, 07:02 PM
  #45  
ComfyShoes
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Karina1, I didn't try calling until it showed up in the system because I wasn't even aware they were backed up. Sorry, can't be of help.
 
Old Mar 26th, 2007, 04:30 PM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Finally!!! I've been checking my application status online daily, and today it finally says "We have finished processing your passport, and it has been mailed.... you should receive your passport on or about 03/28/2007."

My (unexpedited) application was mailed January 23, and the online status at first estimated 3/25, then 3/26, then 3/27, then 3/24, then replaced last week with something about taking longer because of workload (no date, at which point I began panicking).

So, for those of you who are still waiting, looks like the dates they gave on the online status check were not far off. A little over 9 weeks.
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 09:24 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Fifi,
I am very happy for you.
Yesterday I received the US post office green receipt saying that the item had been received on 3-22-07. Yet, on the US post office tracking website, it shows that it was received on 3-14-07 !!
I am very worried.
Furthermore, I was going to lease a car from Renault in France and they want a passport number one month prior to picking up the car. There is no way I'll have the passport by then.
And I can't change to "expedited process" UNTIL my application shows up in the system...that's what I was told on the phone.
Frustrated Karina
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 06:52 PM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I, too, was getting very nervous about my passport. After four weeks my check had not cleared the bank and I was not in the locator file. I made a trip to my congressman's office -- no appointment -- with my airline tickets, etc., and two days later my name showed up in the locator, and the next day my check cleared the bank. This morning, eight days after making the trip to my congressman's office, my passport is on its way, and hopefully it should arrive no later than Monday. (I did not pay the expedited fee.) I found this route very successful, and hopefully you will, too. Now I am looking forward to my trip in May. Before there was no joy attached to it. Lots of luck.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 08:13 PM
  #49  
 
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Someone asked earlier in this thread if you had to live in a "big city" to get your Congressperson on the case. We live in a large city in Ohio, but I don't think that had anything at all to do with the help we got. We just have a very diligent Congresswoman (Deb Pryce) with a great staff who wouldn't rest until my daughter, son and grandkids all had their passports in hand (we leave next week).

I can't urge you enough to contact your Congressperson if you are six-eight weeks out and your trip is looming.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 08:57 PM
  #50  
 
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Karina, what is your travel date? When I called a few weeks ago, I was told that not only do you have to wait until it appears in the system (mine had), but have to wait until 2 weeks before the trip before they'll let you change to expedited service over the phone! He said they care about travel dates, not anything else that you may need the passport for (as ID, for reservations, etc). At that time, a friend of mine suggested that I make up a closer travel date, and, if they ask to see a plane ticket, to try to find some cheap deal to Canada or Mexico. Luckily, the passport was processed before I had to resort to that.

My passport arrived today, exactly the date given on the online status check. Interestingly, it looks just like the old one-- no electronic chip, no new design.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 09:03 PM
  #51  
 
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MelJ,
It was I who asked the question about "big cities," but you read it backwards-- I was worried that maybe only those who live in smaller towns can get personal attention from their representatives.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 09:17 PM
  #52  
 
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Not that this should give anyone a warm and fuzzy feeling, but for what it's worth, this was posted on the US Dept of State website on 3/23:

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 23, 2007


State Department Ramps Up Passport Production To Meet Record Demand


The Department of State remains committed to providing Americans with the passports they need to travel abroad. As passport demand rises to historic levels, the Department is taking necessary steps to meet the challenge:

Producing More Passports than Ever: The Department has set a new record for passport production. In the week ending March 22, 379,000 passports were issued, on top of the 321,000 passports issued the previous week. The Department of State is on track to issue over 1.5 million passports in March.

Regional Agencies Working through the Weekend: Employees at the 17 Passport Agencies nationwide continue to work overtime and through the weekend to process applications to meet Americans' spring travel plans.

Telephone Information Available Daily and Weekends: The National Passport Information Center (1-877-487-2778) is now open for limited weekend hours to make emergency arrangements for travelers departing in seven days or less. NPIC is already staffed Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until midnight, Eastern Time.

Volunteers on the Phones: On top of their regular duties, 350 State Department employees are serving on task forces, devoting nearly 2,500 hours to answering questions and helping Americans get their passports. The Department has installed high-capacity telephone lines to increase the volume of telephone calls it can receive.

Volunteers at the Desks: Qualified State Department employees are also volunteering to help process passport applications. These volunteers, who have approved 5,000 applications so far, supplement the Department's corps of passport specialists, which has increased by 230 new hires since 2005.

Important Points for Travelers

Travelers can check the status of their passport applications on http://travel.state.gov.

Travelers who have applied for passports and are traveling in two weeks or sooner should call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 for information and assistance in arranging to have their passports ready in time for their trips. We ask that other travelers leave these phone lines open for those with immediate travel needs.

Travelers who have not applied for passports to date should plan ten weeks for standard passport processing and two weeks for expedited processing. Information on how to apply for a passport, including how to expedite processing, is available at http://travel.state.gov. Applicants requesting expedited service must write "EXPEDITE" on the outside of the envelope containing their application.

2007/221

Released on March 23, 2007
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 10:43 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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To Kelley who applied 2/20/07: which branch location processed your passport? A friend who's going to Europe with us this summer is also in a panic over his passport. He applied 2/21/07 to the New Orleans branch. We travel 05/27/07 so we have some time before he needs to start calling congressmen, etc. But, just wondering because it seems that some areas of the country are moving faster than others. Thanks Melissa
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 09:41 PM
  #54  
 
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I'm waiting anxiously too. I sent my renewal in 2/15/07. At the time the website said 6 weeks and we were planning to travel mid-May. We ended up moving it up to April 21 to take advantage of a FF flight but that was still 9 weeks. Last week I started getting nervous and checked my bank. The check cleared 3/7/07. Online status says it's being processed but it doesn't give any dates and the website now says 10 weeks from application because they are backlogged.

I'm waiting 1 more week (2 weeks before our trip) and then I'm calling my Congressman. It is ridiculous to have to pay an expedited fee for a passport that can be processed the same day. Spending hours on the phone and paying a $60 fee to get a passport when they've had it for 6 weeks is extortion.

The State Dept knows that volume increases in the spring (it says so right on their website) and they knew that there would be a dramatic rise in passport requests because of the increased passport requirements. They should have increased staff to handle the extra demand.
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Old Mar 30th, 2007, 07:01 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I'm in Alabama. I was told that my application would go first to Philadelphia and then to New Orleans. I thought that was a bit strange, but who am I to explain the bureaucracy (which question actually makes me chuckle--I'm a high school government teacher and just did my lesson plans for the next unit which is on the executive branch and the bureaucracy--I guess I AM supposed to try and explain the bureaucracy!).

My husband's expedited application was processed in 8 days. When there was a date up on the site, mine and my daughter's anticipated finish date was April 30 so I have another month before I start getting nervous about where it it. I believe mine will come from New Orleans in the end.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 30th, 2007, 08:06 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I sent my renewal info express mail on 3/21. I am traveling to Spain on 5/08. The post office lost my package for 3 days. But after it was found, It took one day for them to cash my check (3/27). I checked my status on the site today (3/30), it said my passport was processed, mailed and that I would receive it by 3/31.

I am amazed. After everything I had read, I thought I was in serious trouble. I was all prepared to call my congressman and go to the passport office once I got within 2 weeks of my trip.

I have no idea why it happened so quickly, but I will take it.
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 02:57 PM
  #57  
 
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Well, my check was cashed on April 2nd. My application does not show in their system. I hope it shows up soon
I am wondering how long it takes after your application shows up on line. I want to call them and tell them to expedite the process.
Karina
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 06:32 PM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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My application showed up online after 3 weeks (the first week in March). I still don't have mine, but when they were putting dates on the website it said on or about 4/30 so until that point I won't worry about it.
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Old Apr 6th, 2007, 10:43 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Update
My application still did not show up on line. I called the passport office (waited only about 5 mns) and was told that they do have it in their system. Not sure why it does not show on my computer. I was told that it would take about 3 and 1/2 weeks before I can get the passport.
there is hope
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Old Apr 6th, 2007, 10:09 PM
  #60  
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Karina, I am glad they were able to give you an estimate. When I called a week and a half ago, (eight weeks after applying), I was told that they could not give me an estimate of the arrival date, nor could they expedite my passport. My check was cashed March 6th, and even today I still am not entered in the online tracking system, although when I called they said I am in their system. When I spoke with the person from the passport hotline, they told me that my passport was "in the very beginning stages of being processed"....whatever that means.

I'm really getting nervous now. I travel in about 5 weeks (May 12). This is just getting ridiculous. If I don't get it next week, I think I will take everyone's advice and speak to my congressman's office.

The guy on the phone was like, "Oh you're not travelling until May? You have PLENTY of time! You don't need to start worrying until two weeks before your trip. There are a LOT of things we can do for you in two weeks." But the thing is, I don't want to have to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off two weeks before my trip. That will be a source of stress I don't need. Are they going to reimburse me for taking time off work to go to the passport agency in Denver? I seriously doubt it!
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