Transcripts and their requests can significantly delay the processing of your AMCAS application. Therefore, the best advice is to request official transcripts (OT) very early in the application process. I suggest requesting on or before the official date when AMCAS begins accepting application materials (May).
Academic records are "approved" by your institution's registrar's office. Please note OTs are required from every post-secondary institution you have attempted a course (even if withdrawn).
In addition, there are rules as to how the transcript may be received by AMCAS.
Many schools give you the option of receiving academic records in a sealed envelope, but records in this format will not be accepted. You must have your OT sent directly from the registrar's office to AMCAS.
While completing your AMCAS application you will find a request section where you can print an AMCAS Request form to provide to the registrar's office.
As premeds we are constantly checking the status of our application and AMCAS does a great job of providing application updates. When logging into your AMCAS account they will tell you if your transcripts have been received or not, whether it is under an initial review, has verification occurred, etc.
This makes the process very fluid for the applicant and if my memory is correct, you will even receive emails with these updates.
For students who attend schools operating on the trimester or quarter system you must pay particular attention in how you enter your courses.
I attended Northwestern University which is on the quarter system and after initially entering several courses realized they were done incorrectly and had to speak with my academic advising office on how to make the necessary corrections.
Since I had trouble the first time, here is an overview of what is expected in completing this section.For the academic year 2008-2009 you would input the following: