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Last-Minute Passport Applications Can't Be Booked Online Anymore
Looking to get your last-minute passport applications filled out online? You’re about to be severely disappointed.
The State Department has removed the option to book your last-minute passport applications online. The State Department insists the move is temporary, but this move certainly has travelers in a frenzy.
“We have temporarily removed the online last-minute appointment booking system to ensure our very limited, last-minute in-person passport appointments at one of our agencies or centers go to applicants who need them for urgent travel,” wrote the department on its official website. “We made this change to address the problem of third parties booking all available appointments using bots, and then selling them to applicants with urgent travel needs.”
Processing times for passport applications are still taking up to 18 weeks (12 weeks for processing, and 6 weeks for mailing), or 12 weeks for expedited applications.
In addition to long processing times, the State Department has also revealed that they’re still slogging through almost 2 million passport applications in their backlog. Needless to say, the combination of all these factors have left prospective international travelers with their head in their hands.
As of right now, the only people who can have last-minute applications fulfilled are those in need of life-or-death emergency services and urgent travel services, such as those who have experienced the death of an immediate family member. Additionally, the State Department has urged travelers to not book their last-minute appointments through third-party services, because they cannot guarantee the legitimacy of such services.
“The department is not affiliated with any third-party appointment booking services, and we’ve seen numerous instances of falsified appointment bookings through these vendors,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services Rachel Arndt. “And unfortunately, we may not be able to honor appointments booked via third party, so we are aware and are working to try to rectify that situation.”