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Passport application appointments scarce, resulting in months-long waits

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Jon Poganski was frightened he wasn’t going to make it to Toronto, Canada, to assist his team in a race automotive series. He faced the challenge of attempting to get a passport, though he said the strategy of applying for one was the straightforward part. 

Finding an appointment to use for one, then again, wasn’t really easy. 

Poganski couldn’t discover a passport acceptance center. That is because most places are completely booked with no available appointment windows.

Before 7 a.m., customers begin to line up on the Sutter County clerk-recorder’s office to send out passport application materials. 
(Fox News)

In Northern California, some locations haven’t any available appointments until the center of September. 

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America Postal Service passport acceptance facility accepts walk-ins for the service, but nearly every appointment was booked for the following 45 days. 

“Due to surge in demand for passports, we’re seeing a big volume of requests for passport appointments,” a USPS spokesperson.

This results in situations like Poganski’s. Travelers may not find a way to make scheduled travel as a consequence of the demand.

Sutter County clerk-recorder's office workers say there has been a sharp rise in people applying for passports. 

Sutter County clerk-recorder’s office staff say there was a pointy rise in people applying for passports. 
(Fox News)

“It did take a bit of time to plan it,” Poganski said, adding he needed to drive greater than an hour to search out an acceptance facility that was able to simply accept his passport application.

The Sutter County clerk-recorder’s office is certainly one of the few passport acceptance facilities in Northern California that only accepts walk-ins and doesn’t schedule appointments. 

“There was a time when the passport agency wasn’t accepting any applications, so we’ve got that backlog of parents wanting to get an application,” Clerk-Recorder Donna Johnston said. 

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Johnston said customers begin to line up early within the morning before the office even opens to be sure that they will submit their passport applications. The acceptance center will then send the applications to the State Department for processing. 

The Sutter County clerk-recorder's office in Yuba City, Calif., is one of a few passport acceptance centers that accepts walk-in appointments rather than appointment-only services. 

The Sutter County clerk-recorder’s office in Yuba City, Calif., is certainly one of a number of passport acceptance centers that accepts walk-in appointments slightly than appointment-only services. 
(Fox News)

“I got a co-worker to are available in early, so I may very well be here once they opened at 7,” Poganski said. Johnston said they occasionally have travelers to the office from out of state to submit applications. 

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“Having travel restrictions eased up has increased the number of individuals coming in as well,” Johnston said. 

State Department data shows a pointy decline in passports issued through the pandemic in 2020. 

Just below 12 million passports were issued in 2020, in comparison with the greater than 20 million in 2019. In 2021, greater than 15 million passports were issued. 

“To avoid delays and potential travel disruptions, U.S. residents and nationals should apply as early as they will for a recent passport,” a State Department spokesperson said. 

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As a result of the shortage of appointments and factoring within the processing times, it could take months to get a passport. 

The present processing time for a passport is 8-11 weeks for routine service and 5-7 weeks for expedited service. These time frames represent waits after applications arrive at a passport agency. 
 

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