In a completely expected development, the US Department of State is saying* passport applications numbers are "unprecedented" right now, and that wait times on passports has increased to up to ten weeks (normal waits are six-eight weeks) and four weeks on an expedited passport application, though you may get one quicker if you're leaving the country within two weeks. They also say they're "taking extraordinary action" to keep up -- according to a recent press release, they've hired 250 new adjudicators to help handle the more than one million new passport applications they receive monthly (17 million applications expected in 2007, up from 12 million in 2006). "We recognize that Americans have unprecedented travel document needs," the release reads; yes, that would be because the US gov's Department of Homeland Security decided, after several false starts, to require passports from US citizens returning from Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas and the Caribbean (excepting US territories) by air as of January 23, 2007 (no passport needed for land and sea travel yet). Traveling there for spring break within two weeks? Learn how to get a passport before you go:
- Current Passport News
- Where do I need a passport?
- Passports, Minors,and Student Travelers
- Passport "Substitutes"
- Passport Rule Change and Legislation History