When the U.S. State Department announced in June that they were going to begin processing passports again, they had a huge task ahead of them. Since being shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, they had a backlog of close to 2,000,000 passport applications and were getting in another 9,000 per day.
Only a few of their offices were initially open, with limited employees working in each, because virus numbers in many cities were so high at the time. As virus numbers improved, more offices opened, and more employees could begin working in them.
In pre-COVID times, you could pay extra and get your passport significantly faster than those who just paid the regular processing fee. However in their efforts to prioritize the backlog of applications, the State Dep’t hasn’t been offering expedited services since reopening.
According to their website, we can once again pay for the option of expedited service!
“What is the current status of passport operations?
“You can now apply for routine service and expect to receive a passport in 10-12 weeks. You also have the option of paying an additional $60 for expedited service to receive your passport in 4-6 weeks.
“These processing times apply to applications submitted by mail and in-person at an acceptance facility in your community. Most acceptance facilities such as post offices, clerks of court, and libraries are open and accepting passport applications. We encourage you to apply by mail when possible because it is a safe, contactless option for certain services.
“All of our agencies and centers are processing passport applications. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our workforce and customers, we currently are limiting in-person appointments at our agencies and centers to customers who are traveling internationally in the next 72 hours (3 business days) due to a life-or-death emergency. We plan to offer limited appointments for customers who have urgent international travel for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency as soon as resources allow us to do so.”
So to summarize:
- Regular passport service currently takes 10-12 weeks
- Expedited passport service is again available, takes 4-6 weeks, and costs an extra $60
- In-person passport services are still limited to those who need their passports within 72 hours, and only for life-or-death emergencies (serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family [parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent]. Must show proof of the life-or-death emergency).
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary