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The steps you will have to take to check your passport status will depend on the country in which you are seeking a passport. Often, however, you can check the status using an online form on the passport agency's website. Many agencies also provide a telephone line for checking statuses. If you are concerned about checking on the status of your application because you will have to travel in the near future, however, you may benefit from using an expedited process to obtain your passport as quickly as possible.
In some countries, you can check the status of a passport online. In such a case, you can enter pertinent information into an online form on the agency's website that is meant to start the process of checking your passport status. The type of information you'll have to provide may vary by country, but will probably include your name, or at least your first name and your birth date. In many places, you will also have to provide additional identifying information, such as some of the digits of your tax identification number.
Once you have entered the information required for checking your passport status, you will likely have to click a button on the online form to start the passport status check process. For example, you may have to click "Submit" or "Begin," or something similar, to get started. Some websites may provide the information you seek about your passport application onscreen, right after you click the button to begin the status check, or at least within a couple of minutes of beginning it. In other cases, however, you may have to wait to receive the results of the status check via email.
Some passport agencies may also provide a way for you to check your passport status over the phone. In such a case, you will typically have to call a designated telephone number during specific business hours in order to check on your status. You will probably have to provide much of the same information that you'd submit when checking online. For example, you will typically have to provide your name and birth date as well as other identifying details.
It is worth noting that obtaining a passport can prove a lengthy process. In some places, you may have to wait weeks or even months to receive it. Fortunately, however, many countries provide options for expediting the passport application process so that you do not have to postpone your travel plans.
@jennythelib - I agree with your suggestion to get a passport as soon as the idea that you *might* go somewhere comes up. The only downside is that they are rather expensive - but then applying early gets that cost out of the way, so you can concentrate on saving up for your trip!
My husband had an opportunity to travel for his job rather unexpectedly, and had he not had a passport, he would have missed out. It was a good opportunity for his career and he also had a really nice time.
I was actually surprised how quickly my passport came (I'm a US citizen). I never even got around to worrying about how to check my passport status before it came in the mail!
It may have helped that I applied in what I guess is an off-season for travel; it was just before Christmas. On the other hand, there were probably a lot of people in the government taking time off then.
I think they had said that it would likely take six weeks, and it only took two or three before it showed up in the mail. But of course, you can't count on that. The best idea is to apply for your passport when you first *think* of traveling overseas! They are good for several years and renewal is easier than the initial application, so there is no reason to wait.