The U.S. State Department is warning of 4 month delays for passport renewals due to the crazy high demand.
For those people who want to travel this summer, and your passport is valid for less than 6 months AFTER your date of return, renew it NOW
On Friday, the U.S. State Department confirmed what so many future international travelers have found out over the past few weeks and month—it is taking longer than ever to renew a passport.
According to the State Department’s update, routine applications are now taking between 10 and 13 weeks, while expedited applications are now taking between 7 and 9 weeks.
Those timelines do not include mailing times—the State Department said that it may take up to two weeks for applications to be mailed, and another two weeks for them to be mailed back, so routine applications could now take up to 17 weeks, or more than four months, from time of mailing.
Just a few months ago, the time for standard renewal was six to nine weeks.
The main reason for the longer processing time is the higher demand for passports—2023 is on track to set the record for the highest demand year ever for passports, far surpassing its previous record years in 2007 and 2017.
The State Dept. had also been allowing some to renew their passport online. The online portal, which was technically still in testing mode, was open as recently as January, giving passport holders the chance to do everything online. However, that portal is now closed and while the State Dept. told TMR that the plan is to roll it out fully sometime this year, that’s not an option for travelers right now.
Still, the best thing international travelers can do right now is to apply for their passports as early as possible.
Those who are traveling with less time to spare are able to schedule an in-person appointment at a regional passport agency in order to expedite the process. Those appointments can be scheduled only via a phone call and only within 2 weeks of the travel date. Applicants will be required to provide proof of travel when making the appointment.
Not having a valid passport when flying internationally may ruin your 2023 vacation plans. It’s almost April and even if you expedite your passport, you may not have it back before July.
By the way, even if you try to expedite it at the agency within 14 days of travel, you may not be able to find any open appointments. One of our colleagues was going to fly to San Juan Puerto Rico since that was the closest agency where she could get an appointment!
My Vacation Lady will always ask for a copy of your passport when we book your vacation for many reasons but one is— to ensure it will be valid during your date of travel.
Take our advice and check your passport NOW.