Travel News

US Passport Processing Update: Back to Normal “Busy” Levels

Written by Charlie

Here are the latest numbers on the US passport processing! The good news is that it continues to drop below a seven figure waiting list while now being similar to average busy seasons.

Last week, the US State Department pushed the number of waiting passports even lower below the big one million number. Even better is that the average summer numbers of passports being processed is over one million so they are actually doing a very good job!

US Passport Processing Update

Remember, they are processing them a first come/first out basis. To understand how the whole passport processing is accomplished (as well as where your passport is sent), check out this post for a cool infographic to break it all down.

Here is how the State Department did in the last week, as well as the two previous weeks:

Week (Thursday-Wednesday) Applications Received Passports Awaiting Issuance* Passports Issued
This Week (Aug 13-Aug 19) 143,000 923,000 209,000
Last Week (Aug 6-Aug 12) 151,000 968,000 235,000
2 Weeks Ago (July 30-Aug 5) 139,000 1.06 million 213,000

Somewhat surprisingly is that the number of passports received actually dropped from the previous week. I am not sure if that is due to a settling realization that international travel is really not going to be a thing in 2020 or if people are just not in a hurry anymore to get them back.

The good thing is that this is yet another week of at least 65,000 net passports being issued, meaning the number of issued passports agains the number of applications received. But, keep in mind that these numbers would also indicate that passports sent in now could take around/at least two months to be issued – if everything stays as it is now.

The good news is that this is what the State Department says about the numbers “In prior years, the average number of passport applications in process during our busy season has routinely exceeded 1 million.”

So, we are basically looking at waiting times that are typical to busy seasons – and that is if these agencies do not proceed to Phase Two or Three of their efforts to get back to full movement.

What Are the Three Phases of Passport Operations?

Getting Your Passport Status and Update

Here is what you need to do, per the US State Department:

Status updates are available online or by calling us at 1-877-487-2778. You can go to our Online Passport Status System and sign up for automatic email notifications about your passport status.

You will receive an email when your passport is 1) In Process: your application is being reviewed at a passport agency or center, 2) Approved: your application has been approved and will be printed, and 3) Mailed.

If you receive a status update of Not Found, your application is still in transit to one of our agencies and centers or we are experiencing a temporary, technical issue with our Online Passport Status System. 

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I applied for a passport mid July do you think I will get mine by the 1st week of September?

  • Thanks for all your posts on this subject. Here’s a datapoint. My check was cashed on 7/7 and I received my passport yesterday (still pending my old passport). So it was a seven week turn around for me. Hope this helps someone.

  • My wife and I applied in late June. Our applications are “in-process” since June 30. Not sure why some get it sooner than others.