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I used the new Online Passport Renewal on October 31, and still it shows that my application is “in process”. My trip is on Jan 12. I have been waiting 9 weeks for my passport. I paid for next-day air for my shipping of the passport, but I didn’t pay for expedited processing, because I figured I would get it on the 9th week or before. However, I did not and now I am calling the passport line all the time – 1-877-487-2778 and they have no more information than what is on the online system for me. Since someone else on the forum suggested contacting my US representative. I did and they immediately emailed me the form for privacy release. They contacted the agency today – Jan 4. And hopefully something will happen this week. I will update when I get my passport.
I have been very frustrated with the lack of more details about how long it will take.