- The US Department of State reports wait times of up to 13 weeks for a passport.
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken says there’s “unprecedented demand” for passports in the US, CBS reports.
- Applicants are encouraged to be mindful of their exp ration date and be wary of passport expeditors.
Many already have summer vacation plans abroad, but those waiting for a new passport might need more patience than usual this travel season.
As of now, the processing time for a new passport or a renewal is estimated at 10-13 weeks, according to the State Department. If you’re hoping to book an international vacation today, the safest time to go would be July — at the earliest — with current standard wait times.
The State Department is facing “unprecedented demand” for passports, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, according to CBS News.
“We’re getting 500,000 applications a week for a passport. That’s 30 to 40% above last year, so it’s dramatic,” Blinken said during a House Appropriations subcommittee budget hearing.
Prior to spring break, the estimated turnaround time topped out at 11 weeks with an expedited time of 5-7 weeks, Insider’s Hannah Towey reported in February. The report also mentioned that delivery time can add “several weeks” more, per the agency.
The April estimate for expedited passport processing, which will cost you an extra $60, is about 7-9 weeks, the agency says. Although some private companies known as “passport expeditors” can move the process along for a fee, the State Department said they can’t get your passport faster than you can if submitting an application on your behalf.
Scott Keyes, founder of Going, a flight deals website told CBS News that travelers should be mindful of their passport expiration date, and act quickly. Keyes recommended six months should be subtracted from the printed date.
“So if it expires on Christmas 2023, you need to act like it expires on June 25 because many countries will not let you in if there is less than six months remaining,” Keyes told CBS. “The thinking is that you might stay for a while and your passport won’t be valid for your return flight to the US.”
On its site, the State Department acknowledges extended wait times for calls about passport issues, and offered processing options for applicants. Those traveling in five days or fewer are encouraged to call the information center, or make an appointment at a government passport agency or center.