The U.S. Passport Service makes it easy to track the status of passport applications on the Internet. This is a handy tool if you need your passport by a specific date for international travel or to obtain visas for certain destinations. It is important to realize that it takes a while for the passport application to make its way into the U.S. Passport Service computer system, and that you will not be able to retrieve the information if you do not have access to personal information about the applicant.
Go to the U.S. Department of State website and click on the "U.S. Passport Application Status" tab. A link to this webpage is provided in the Resources section.
Read the "Privacy and Computer Fraud and Abuse Acts Notices and Disclaimers" document. You must check the box indicating that you have read the document and click on the "submit" button. You will not be allowed to proceed if you do not complete this step.
Enter the passport applicant's last name, date of birth, and the last four digits of their social security number. Check and then re-check the spelling and the numbers for accuracy. Once this is done, click on the "Submit" button.
Try again later if you are told that your passport application was not found. This is common as the U.S. Passport Service catches up with data entry. It takes at least 5 days for the application status to work its way into the U.S. Department of State computer system. During busy times, it can take up to 10 days.
Call the National Passport Application Center if you are traveling internationally in the next 14 days. Do this if the website tells you that you will not receive your passport prior to your departure date or it says that your passport application was not found. Call the National Passport Application Center at (877) 487-2778, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., EST, except on federal holidays. They can help you get an expedited passport.
Kent Ninomiya is a veteran journalist with over 23 years experience as a television news anchor, reporter and managing editor. He traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Ninomiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences with emphasis in history, political science and mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.