Passport Wait Time is Expected to Increase
Due to recent changes from the U.S. State Department, the Passport Services agency has announced that passports will now take 2-4 weeks longer to process than they did previously. Before this change, passports took 4-6 weeks to process. Now, travelers will need to wait 6-8 weeks for those documents.
The delay appears to come from cuts in passport specialist jobs.
Officials cut 14% of those positions during a time of 100% growth in the need of passports over the last decade. On top of this, to better keep up with the demand for passports, current employees are expected to work 16 hours of overtime this month.
This news comes along with other reports that the security lines at airports are expected to increase as well, adding even more travel time. The bloated security lines come from a lack of airport checkpoint screeners. There aren’t enough workers in those positions to keep up with the increase of 4.5% of people traveling on planes.
If you’re worried that this new change will affect your upcoming travels, make sure that you are prepared and have all the necessary paperwork completed as soon as possible. Don’t put yourself at risk of not getting your passport in time by always applying early. Make sure you apply for your passport at least 8 weeks before you will need it.
If you’re unable to plan this far ahead, there is still an option to expedite the process for an extra fee of $60. But, even with an expedited process, it could still take up to three weeks to receive your passport.
To apply for a passport, you will need to:
- Fill out the appropriate form provided by the U.S. State Department. There are three different forms depending on your needs.
- You will also need a form of Citizenship Evidence (usually a birth certificate) and a form of identification (such as a driver’s license).
- Provide a passport photo that:
- Was taken in the last 6 months
- Uses a white background
- Must be taken by someone else and you can’t be wearing glasses
- Must be 2 x 2 inches
- Depending on your order, your passport may cost up to $175.
- Finally, you will need to submit your form and necessary documents to the U.S. State Department.
If you’re having difficulty with getting your passport or necessary travel documents, Passport Health can help. You can speak with one of our Passport and Visa specialists at or check out any of our other passport and visa services.
Do you have any questions about obtaining your passport or visa for your upcoming travels? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter. Or you can check our Destination Advice or Passport and Visa pages for more information.
Written for Passport Health by Kaitlyn Luckow. Kaitlyn is a freelance writer, photographer and English teacher in Milwaukee. She has a passion for capturing and writing other people’s stories. You can find her at her website.