Photo Credit: Photo by Levi Ventura on Unsplash
It Can Take Several Months To Get Your Passport. Here’s Why
It may be a long time before your next international getaway but that doesn’t mean you should wait to apply or renew your passport because there is a long wait ahead.
As the coronavirus pandemic swept through the country, the State Department cut back on passport services to life-or-death emergencies only from mid-March through early June to stop the spread of the coronavirus, as Travel Noire previously reported.
State Department employees have been working from home, but passports cannot be processed at home for security reasons. As a result, the application backlog reached beyond 1.8 million when workers returned in June.
Passport agencies are slowly reopening, but the State Department is currently not full capacity, which means those applying for a new passport or renewing will still experience some delays.
“We’ve gotten through essentially all of the backlog work, and now we’re getting back to a regular rhythm,” Ian Brownlee, the principal deputy in Consular Affairs, said during a video chat on the future of international travel hosted on the travel website The Points Guy. “If you’re thinking of traveling nine months out, why not apply now? The thing’s good for 10 years.”
But even with Brownlee’s optimism, the State Department said on Twitter: “All applicants should continue to expect processing delays of several months as we work to get through a high volume of applications. ”
The State Department says it currently takes about 10 weeks to process a passport, from application to delivery in the mail. That’s up from the six to eight weeks it typically took before the pandemic, as reported in The Washington Post.