The policy does not include renewals for passports, which are still being accepted by postal mail — but you are warned that the processing of the renewal of your passport will encounter significant delays; and to not go to an acceptance facility to get your passport renewed.
Because of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, effective March 20, 2020, we are only able to offer in-person service at passport 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.
While you can still apply in person for a U.S. passport at some acceptance facilities and renew through the mail, you should expect significant delays receiving your passport and your citizenship evidence documents. Please consider waiting to apply until we resume normal operations. We suspended expedited service on March 19 and are not offering this service to any applicants.
What If I Applied Before March 20?
If you applied and requested expedited service on or before March 19, 2020, we made every effort to meet our commitment of 2-3 weeks door-to-door service. However, due to limited staff, we are still working on a small portion of incomplete expedited applications submitted on or before March 19. You may experience additional delays.
If you applied and requested routine service on or before March 19, 2020, you should expect significant delays receiving your passport and your citizenship evidence documents.
If you received a letter from us requesting additional documents or information to process your passport application, you may mail your response to the address in the letter. We are able to receive mail at this time. 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:
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 translated or 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 our 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 or on Saturdays, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Eastern Time. Call 202-647-4000 outside of these hours to make an appointment.
Many passport application acceptance facilities, which include libraries, clerks of court, and post offices, are not accepting U.S. passport applications at this time. As of March 25, 2020, post offices which are still accepting applications are requiring customers to make an online appointment to apply in person for a U.S. passport. If you need to apply in person for your U.S. passport, please contact the facility directly to confirm the status of its operations.
Can I Renew Now?
You may also 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.Expect significant processing delays.
A Level 4 advisory to restrict travel — which is the highest level that warns Do Not Travel — was initially issued on Thursday, March 19, 2020 by the Department of State of the United States, which introduced an improved travel advisory system of sharing information on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 for travelers who are citizens of the United States. This system is designed to provide clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information worldwide.
Either way, I hope your passport does not expire anytime soon — and if it did, I wonder if the same restrictions will be in place pertaining to obtaining a new passport if a period of time elapses since an old passport expired once the system returns to some semblance of normalcy sometime in the future.
This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2 — pandemic in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources…
…as well as attempt to maintain a reasoned and sensible ongoing discussion towards how to resolve this pandemic.
Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include: