Passport worries

Old Apr 19th, 2007, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3
Well, since these posts have been helpful for me the past few weeks, I thought I'd share my experience up until today with passport "processing".

End of March: sent off passport to add visa pages ( paid $60 expedited service fee)through priority mail and sent daughter's for renewal two days later.

I have plans to travel in June so I am ahead of the game. However, a business trip came up for April 26th! Ah....

After waiting and checking the application status online daily, I come to find that my daughter's is now being processed and the check has been cashed...however, mine isn't even showing up in the system.

When I call the customer service #, I find that since I have waited 14 days prior to my travel date as directed by their automated service, there are NO AVAILABLE appts until May.......

And, after waiting on hold for hours at insane times of the morning and night to get ahold of an actual human being, I speak with courteous customer service reps who kindly tell me to keep trying the appt. system and just wait and hope it gets here by the 26th...

After reading these posts, I decided that it was about time to call my congressman's office. So, this morning, I called and explained my situation. By this afternoon, I had received a phone call letting me know that they had checked on my passport but couldn't find it in the system. So, we need to wait a few days and check on Friday and Monday. However, in case it doesn't come through, they're going to make me an appt. with the local agency to get a new passport.

I have to say...this is a good day for me and for representative govt..the system (with a few glitches) seems to have worked....

Keeping my fingers crossed until the 26th,

sohbetocean is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2007, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,224
So far, no one has posted that they actually missed their flight due to slow passport processing. Some close calls, but no missed flights.

I think any information about experiences prior to this year are highly entertaining but not reliable sources about what we can expect if our applications were put in this year.
fishee is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2007, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 62
When I went to the PP offfice in DC to get my daughter's PP, there were people inline who'd missed their flights. Poor things trying to get new reservations on their cell phones while standing in yet another line. One woman started shouting when they wouldn't give her a passport or or give her birth certificate back, that got things going and others started shouting too. At one point I thought there was going to open rebellion.
nutjobz is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2007, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 40
I think this post has been very helpful to me. I would never have thought about calling my congressman for help.

I also got panicky when I called the appointment center early (before 14 days from departure) just to check how it worked and the recording said there was no appointment available within the next 14 days. I knew I could not rely on that.

Best wishes to all of you who are still going through this process.
Karina1 is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2007, 09:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 28
Here's my update. I called the passport service early this week. I was told that my passport wasn't scheduled to arrive until May 20th, which is after we are scheduled to get back from our trip. I was told that expediting at this point is not an option because I am not leaving within 2 weeks. (I guess the note the other lady sent to the agency didn't really count as expediting it, it was more of a suggestion?) I was so frustrated that I called my congressman's office. By the way, congratulations to those of you whose congressmen actually cared about your situation. Mine apparently did not give a crap. I left them my information on Monday, and was told that someone would get back to me. Finally, after tiring of waiting, I called again on Friday. They told me that they emailed the passport agency, and they were simply wating for the passport service to get back to them, so I might hear back next week. Great idea. I'm sure they are going to make it a big priority to respond to all emails, since they haven't bothered to respond to any of mine!

So, I guess after all this, I am going to have to take another day of vacation to go to the regional passport agency in Denver. And of course, there will be no guarantee that I will walk out of there with a passport.

I can't for the life of me understand why some people (who applied WEEKS or MONTHS AFTER me and are traveling WEEKS or MONTHS AFTER me) have already gotten theirs and mine is scheduled to take over 16 weeks, and will not get here until after my travel date! I feel as though I am being held hostage in my own country. It's really unfair.
Jazzblues1 is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2007, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,567

>I can't for the life of me understand why some people (who applied WEEKS or MONTHS AFTER me and are traveling WEEKS or MONTHS AFTER me) have already gotten theirs and mine is scheduled to take over 16 weeks,

There's nothing personal in it. Just standard bureaucratic muddling.

ira is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 06:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3
On the response of your congressman's office, I would give it a little bit more time. For example, I called my congressman's office one week prior to my travel. This sense of urgency probably placed this concern higher on the list of priorities than if I had called sooner. I know you're tired of waiting. However, it does seem that the closer you get to your trip the better service you'll get!

Indeed, there is no "system" to the seems who gets their passports when is merely luck....
sohbetocean is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 40
You should try again with the passport office. One person had told me that it could NOT be expedited but when I called again and spoke to someone else, she took my Visa card number and did not have a problem with expediting the process.
I also had spoken with my congressman's office and gave him the same information. I don't know if he was instrumental in getting things done quicker but it does not hurt to have as many people as possible help you.
If you're leaving on 5-12, your congressman should be able to get you an appointment with the local passport office.
Don't give up!
Bonne chance
Karina1 is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2007, 02:58 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3
Passport accomplished! After calling the congressional office for my district and securing an appt. letter to go to the Special Issuance office in DC, I have my new passport in hand.

Just one week ago, I was going crazy calling Customer service and trying track down my "EXPEDITED" application for new visa pages.

Anyway, after waiting in line fifteen minutes today, I submitted my application materials and returned after 4 hours to pick it up.

So, if you are still waiting, don't worry. When your date is coming close (mine is this week!), call your congressman. There is an emergency system in place.
sohbetocean is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2007, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 40
Great, Sohbe
I am happy for you. I know it's a relief to finally receive our passports.
I've been checking the tripadvisor website and there are several posts on passport issues. One is in the Cancun Forum and someone there gave another phone number to call where you can reach a person directly without spending hours on hold. I can't remember the number now but people may want to check it out if they are having trouble reaching the 877-487-2778 number.
Karina1 is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2007, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 11
The same thing happened to me. I applied for my passport in January for a May departure. By March 31, there was still no word. The check had been cashed in Feb. I called the 80 number many times and got the same results, disconnection. Finally I called a 6 pm CST and stayed on hold for 1 hour. The man was very nice and I had my passport in 5 days. No local agency was able to help me. Patience, is all I can suggest.
cookie05500 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 08:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 28
I just wanted to post a follow up to the original message. I FINALLY got my passport today! About a week and a half before my trip.
To summarize:
-Applied first week of February
-Did NOT pay to Expidite.
-Travel date of May 12th.
-Got passport May 1.
-Total waiting time for passport: about 14 weeks

This is what happened since I last posted: I had called the passport agency one more time last Friday, and was told that it appeared that the Seattle passport service had opened the email from my congressman. I asked the girl on the phone if that meant they were expediting my passport, and she said that there was no way to be sure. She kept parroting that they were "aware of my travel date". I told her that gave me very little comfort, and that I would be going to make an appointment at the regional agency.

Yesterday, I took time off work and made the trip to the regional agency. By the way, despite having made an appointment, no one ever asked for my appointment number, or even asked if I had an appointment at all. You still take a number and wait in line, just like the DMV. So if anyone is worried because all the appointments are filled, you can actually just show up sans appointment. At least at the one I went to.

After a relatively short wait, I spoke with someone at the counter who told me that he couldn't do anything for me, because my passport was almost done at the Seattle passport service, and was just about to be printed. He said there were just a couple more steps, and that my passport would be mailed to me as soon as those were done.

I wasn't happy with that answer, because they couldn't tell me if it would be mailed right away, or if it would be held up for a few more days. In hindsight, I'm glad I didn't push him to let me submit a new application (which I was prepared to do) just so I could walk out of there with one, because I probably would have gotten charged again for it.

Anyway, it was completed yesterday, and they overnighted it to me, so it got to me today! I don't know if it was the congressman's email, or the fact that I showed up in person at the regional agency that lit the fire under their hind ends. Or the fact that I called almost daily!

Thank goodness that saga is over. I'm going to Paris after all!
Jazzblues1 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2007, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 40
I am glad everything worked out for you. I know how happy you must feel now that you've got your passports in hand. It feels good to know you don't have to go through that for another 10 years
We're leaving for Paris on May 18th.
Bon voyage and have a great time in Paris.
Karina1 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:37 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 380
I thought I'd post an update to my situation since I posted previously. I applied at my local post office on 2/21 and sent it express mail (not expedited though). It arrived at the passport facility on 2/23 and showed up online about 3 weeks later. When it first showed up online, it was giving a date to expect it by (on or before 4/30/07). Then a few days later the date went away.

My daughter and I received our passports TODAY 5/2/07(yeah!) which would be 1 day short of 10 weeks from when the passport facility got the applications. It said they were issued on 4/24/07 so it took approximately a week to get to me from their facility. We aren't travelling until July so we are good, but it's amazing how relieved I feel having that in my hands. It's been a good week!
Kellye is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 367
Update on my process for anyone concerned about timeliness:

3/3 - My sister and I both applied at the local post office. We were told that we did not need to expedite for a trip date of 5/26.

4/6 - I called the Passport Office for status because status was not showing online for either me or my sister. I was told that the application was entered in their system on 3/29 and that we should have our passports by the first week of May.

4/11 - My sister and I both finally show up online, but it just says that we should have our passports within 10 weeks of applying and that we requested routine service and routine delivery. No estimated completion date.

5/3 - The status online has not changed since 4/11, so I called the National Passport Office again (only a 10 minute hold this time compared to nearly an hour the first time). I was told that my passport is "more than halfway done" and that all that is left is for it to be printed, signed, and mailed. My sister's (who applied the same day as me) is still in the stage of name verification, so hers is a step or 2 behind mine. He could not give an estimate of when we should receive our passports, but said that if we call back on 5/12 (2 weeks prior to travel), they can REQUEST that they be expedited at no cost.
mrkindallas is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 09:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
For extra pages only, regular service:

Sent it March 2. Got it back May 3.

Good luck to everyone still waiting. The success stories should offer some hope. I have not seen or heard of anyone missing a trip. Odds are with you but waiting is no fun.
atravelynn is offline  
Old May 4th, 2007, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
There's at least one thread on here that has a story of someone missing a flight due to this mess.

The more I read, the more I am amazed at the overall incompentency of our this agency.

My mother turned her passport in a few weeks ago. We are planning to give it 6 weeks before we start calling the Representative. Luckily, her Congressman is great at dealing with issues like this. (He seems to understand that keeping the folks at home happy, keeps him elected) However, it's unbelievable that in MAY this level of incompetence is still going on. I do encourage you to contact your represnetatives. Maybe if they spend enough time dealing with angry voters they will ask the folks running this cirucs for better explanations.
CarolA is offline  
Old May 4th, 2007, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 40
I think people really have to be pro-active and not just wait and hope that they'll get their passport on time. I called many times, got different answers and kept pestering them (in a nice way). I also enlisted the help of my congressman.

You know what they say about the squeeky wheel?
Karina1 is offline  
Old May 4th, 2007, 05:05 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1
hello everybody
i feel so relieved knowing that many peoples are experiencing the same type of problems that i have.

Although, my problem is a little bit more urgent and severe.
I just got my citizenship on April the 11, so i immediately apply for a passport on April the 13. I am leaving oversea on May the 13.
I pay for the expedited service, and they tell me i should get it within 3-4 weeks.

I check my status online at , and it says
Thank you for submitting your passport application! It is currently being processed.
Home > Passports Home > U.S. Passport Application Status

U.S. Passport Application Status

Thank you for submitting your passport application! It is currently being processed.

Your passport application locator number is 136277732.

Note: We have been experiencing a problem with the online status check system affecting only the application locator number. This does not affect the processing of your application. If the number above is 10 digits long and starts with 10000, please do not worry. If you need to contact the National Passport Information Center, you will have to provide at least your name and date of birth instead of the application locator number. Otherwise, please provide the locator number above.

When you applied, you requested Expedite Service and Routine Delivery of your passport. Passport Agencies use Priority Mail.

You should receive your passport within 4 weeks from the date you applied. However, if you are traveling within 2 weeks and have not received your passport, please contact the National Passport Information Center.

Well, i'm leaving next Sunday already and my passport is still processing! I'm panicking! I called their system and the lady said she can only tell me that my status is processing, but nothing else. But she told me she is sending the system a message to expedite it even sooner, as she ask for my leaving date. She told me to call back on Monday.

I am getting very frustrated, as this is a family trip, my parents and sister had already got their passport except for me. If my passport doesnt come in time, i might have to just stay home for the summer. We've been planning and anticipating this trip for a year.
If theres any suggestion, advice, or comment, or anything i can do at all about my situation, please do so!
I am in bitter frustration right now.
I found out about calling the congressman just today while coming across this thread, but it is already 7 pm and the office close at 5 pm. I will try to call on Monday.
janeyVlove is offline  
Old May 4th, 2007, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420

Monday morning first thing call your congressperson AND your Senator. The more the merrier, but as a general rule Congressmen/women are more responsive. (Guess it's that every two years election.....)
Call everyone, and call LOTS. As others have pointed out the squeaky wheel gets action here. Keep us informed. I have my fingers crossed for you.
CarolA is offline  

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