Home Travel Passport application appointments scarce, leading to months-long waits

Passport application appointments scarce, leading to months-long waits

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John Poganski was worried that he might not be going to Toronto, Canada to help the team in the race car series. He faced the challenge of trying to get a passport, but he said the process of applying for a passport was an easy part.

On the other hand, finding an appointment to apply has never been so easy.

Pogansky could not find a passport acceptance center. This is because most locations are fully booked and there is no booking window available.

Before 7am, customers will begin lining up at the Sutter County Secretary’s Office to send their passport application materials.
(Fox News)

In Northern California, some locations may not be available until mid-September.

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The United States Postal Service’s passport receiving facility accepts carry-on services, but almost all appointments are booked for the next 45 days.

“The surge in demand for passports has led to a large number of requests for passport reservations,” said a USPS spokeswoman.

This leads to a situation like Pogansky. Travelers may not be able to make scheduled trips due to demand.

Sutter County Secretary-Recorder's office worker says the number of people applying for passports is skyrocketing.

Sutter County Secretary-Recorder’s office worker says the number of people applying for passports is skyrocketing.
(Fox News)

“It took me a while to make a plan,” Pogansky said, adding that he had to drive for more than an hour to find a reception facility that could accept passport applications.

The Sutter County Secretary’s Office is one of the few passport receiving facilities in Northern California that only accepts walk-ins and does not schedule bookings.

“There was a time when the passport agency wasn’t accepting applications, so we have a backlog of people who want to apply,” said Secretary Donna Johnston.

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According to Johnston, customers will start lining up early in the morning before the office opens to be able to submit passport applications. The acceptance center then sends the application to the Department of State for processing.

The Sutter County Secretary's Office in Yuba City, California is one of the few passport reception centers that accepts carry-on reservations, not just a reservation-only service.

The Sutter County Secretary’s Office in Yuba City, California is one of the few passport reception centers that accepts carry-on reservations, not just a reservation-only service.
(Fox News)

“I had my colleagues come early, so I was able to be here when they opened at 7 o’clock,” Pogansky said. Johnston said there may be travelers in the office from outside the state to submit the application.

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“The relaxation of the travel ban has increased the number of people entering the country,” Johnston said.

State Department data show a sharp decline in passports issued during the 2020 pandemic.

In 2020, slightly less than 12 million passports were issued, but in 2019 it exceeded 20 million. In 2021, over 15 million passports were issued.

A State Department spokesman said, “US citizens and citizens need to apply for a new passport as soon as possible to avoid delays and travel disruptions.”

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It may take several months to get your passport because there are no reservations and no processing time is taken into account.

The current processing time for passports is 8-11 weeks for regular service and 5-7 weeks for expedited service. These time frames represent the wait after the application arrives at the passport agency.

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