Travelers may have to wait longer to get a passport this year as demand skyrockets.
The State Department is citing "unprecedented demand" in their latest update on passport processing. They say it far surpasses the number of passport applications seen during previous surges in international travel.
Currently, it's taking the department 8-11 weeks for routine passport processing, and even expedited processing for an extra $60 has an estimated wait time of 5-7 weeks.
"These processing times fluctuate throughout the year depending on demand and we anticipate that they will rise, especially as we approach the busier travel season," the State Department said.
To get out in front of the rush, the department says it is aggressively recruiting and hiring across their passport agencies and centers and opening a satellite office to help process applications.
But for anyone planning to travel abroad, the department says to make sure that passport is up-to-date as soon as possible.
"We encourage all Americans to check their passport expiration date before making any definitive plans for international travel, and to take action to renew their passport well in advance of international travel this year," the State Department said. "This is especially important as we approach what is expected to be our busiest summer travel season on record."
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