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Need A New Passport? Delays Are Stalling Them Up To 18 Weeks, State Department Says

IRVINE (CBSLA) - For those looking to get a new passport this summer, delays due to COVID are stalling them for up to 18 weeks across Southern California. Some travelers are worried they will have to cancel their trips because of it.

The State Department said due to pandemic delays, people wanting to renew or get a passport for the first time must wait sometimes three times as long as the typical six to eight-week period to do so.

"Right now we have about 1.6 million passports in backlog," said Peter Greenberg, CBS News travel editor.

At the West LA federal building Friday morning, there was a line wrapping around the place, some waiting for hours.

"I got here at 4:30 in the morning," said Blakk Samm, who had been waiting at the building Friday. "Now it's about noon and we still haven't been able to get our passports."

The Van Nuys Post Office will host a passport fair to aid customers who otherwise cannot schedule an appointment for passport service Sunday. Postal clerks will be on hand to provide passport information and to accept passport applications. No appointments will be necessary through 4 p.m. The event will be limited to the first 500 walk-ins.

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