Is it too late to get a passport in time for summer vacation?

Post-pandemic travel is set to boom this summer, and whether you’re headed to your favorite beach or some of Europe’s most popular destinations, you’re not the only one who wants to get out this summer. That’s one reason why it’s taking several weeks, even months, for the U.S. State Department to process passport applications and renewals.

“Passport delays have gotten worse,” said CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg. “The waiting time for a renewal passport is anywhere from 10-12 weeks, for a brand new application, it could be as much as 14 weeks.”

Taking a look at the calendar, that means you’re looking at almost August before you’ll get your passport.

But there are workarounds.

“If you can show proof that you’re traveling in the next two weeks they will expedite your passport,” said syndicated travel columnist Christopher Elliott. “You can also pay an expedite fee and get a passport faster.”

Don’t be afraid to turn to the legislative branch either, since some pride themselves on the constituent services aspect of serving.

“A lot of folks I was talking to are going to their congressional representative or Senator and asking for help,” said Elliott. “They can actually provide some help.”

He said the State Department is well aware that there’s a problem and is working to address it.

“One of the things that happened was that they had a pilot program, an online renewal, and they stopped doing that,” said Elliott. “A lot of people were relying on that pilot program. They’re going to restart that pretty soon, so I think the worst of it might be over … we’ll just have to see.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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