A passport can be renewed much faster than that. Last year, I was going to Paris to visit my daughter. On the night before I was leaving, I checked my passport, and realized that it had expired. I panicked, and started calling the Passport Agency to see if there was anything I could do. It turns out there is an emergency procedure where you can go to a Passport Agency office, and get a same-day renewal of your passport. You have to be close to a Passport Agency, and it costs an extra $65 ( I think), but it sure saved my life!