Post-pandemic travel surge causing processing delays of U.S. passports

Don't get caught off guard by an out-of-date passport because renewal times are taking a very long time. Here's what you need to know.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 3:22 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 13, 2023 at 4:46 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Is your passport about to expire? You may want to get it renewed as soon as possible since many travelers are experiencing a 12-week delay.

Lori Speers with Lavarte Travel said this backup is caused by “chaos” post-COVID-19 pandemic. “People don’t realize that their passport is expired, so we tell people the very first time when they want to book a trip to check their passport,” she said. “It has to be current six months prior to the return travel date. So, if your passport will expire in 6 months, it’s actually already expired.”

Speers suggested that if you find yourself in an emergency and can’t wait 11 weeks, she suggests making an appointment at a passport office on an expedited program which could take up to two weeks and an additional $200 on top of the $160 original passport. Once it’s renewed, your passport will be good for ten years.

Many factors can contribute to passport renewal troubles, from divorces to too little postage. Plan ahead for delays since even the expedited process can take longer than expected.

Many parts of Mexico have been marked as unsafe, just in time for spring break.