No Joke: Months for Passport Processing Times
If you choose normal processing for your passport renewal (no extra processing money), you'll be waiting AT LEAST 2 months to get your passport back.
I know, because the State Department still has my passport after sending it in for renewal in the middle of October. Here's what the "Check My Passport Status" website says about mine: (as of12/26/2020)
Application Status: In Process: The U.S. Department of State has received your application for your passport book and card on 10/27/2020. We're now reviewing your application and supporting documents.
You requested routine service when you applied, which we are currently processing in 10-12 weeks.
a) I sent off my passport renewal paperwork, fees and old passport from a Postal Annex retail store and my receipt says we shipped it off on 10/18/2020. (It's not rocket science to send off this stuff yourself but my they do this stuff all the time and know exactly how and where to send it.)
b) Let's say it took a few days to get to the Passport office, my renewal STILL wasn't marked "received" until 10/27/2020. Today is December 26th, 2020.
c) The processing times for passport renewals is fluctuating. I'm quite certain that when I sent the package off, the State Department website said it was taking 8 to 10 weeks for normal renewals. Now it says 10 to 12 weeks.
If you have applied for or renewed your passport, you can check your application status with the State Department HERE. You'll get one of the following responses immediately on the screen: Not Found, In Process, Approved or Mailed.
Needless to say, you'll need time and patience when applying for or renewing your passport. (Again, I did NOT pay the extra fees for expedited handling which can get you your passport back to you in 4 to 6 weeks. (Emergency/lost passport issues can be handled on a case by case basis.)