Here’s what you need to know if applying for or renewing a passport

Are you planning an upcoming trip and need to get or renew your passport?  Here’s what you need to know now to make sure you have a passport in time.

If you saw our August 25 post about scoring discount airline tickets, you might have decided to start planning your next trip.  And if that trip requires a passport, here are a few things you need to know:

  1. Passport renewals and first-time passports are taking a long time to process.  As of early September, they are 92% through applications received in April, May and June (you read that right!) and have only just started processing applications received in July and August.  

  2. There are nearly 1m applications waiting to be processed!

  3. Expedited services are not available at this time except in the case of Life-or-Death emergencies.  Expedited services will resume in Phase 3 of the reopening plan.  Currently, the majority of passport agencies are still in Phase 1 of their reopening plan.

  4. Real IDs were expected to be enforced at all airports later this year.  Due to COVID-19, this has been DELAYED until October 1, 2021 when the DHS will require all travelers to use Real IDs to travel domestically.

If you are questioning whether or not it’s safe to travel internationally, always reference the US State Department’s website for country-specific information.  For complete information and details about passports, visit Passport Operations.

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