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Passport renewal delayed for months as international travel soars

Travel agent recommends opting for expedited service
How many passports can you really own?
Posted at 3:20 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 17:08:21-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Palm Beach County travel agent is encouraging travelers to act fast if they need their passport renewed.

The U.S. Department of State is reporting a severe backlog and delay of the department's passport operation.

Reece Worldwide Travel is reporting the current wait time for expedited passports is 12 weeks and 18 weeks for general processing.

"With travel ramping up, people want to go out of the country. They're ready to travel," said Laura Reece, owner of Reece Worldwide Travel. "A lot of people have looked at their passports and they have been expired. You must have a current passport to travel out of the country. You can't use a passport card. You can't use your birth certificate."

Travelers who need a passport due to a life-or-death emergency can get priority with proper documentation.

Reece recommends opting for the expedited service to help with the turnaround time.

"It's worth the money," Reece said. "If you're planning on taking a vacation and you've already paid for your tickets and you want to go, I would do it right now."

The U.S. Department of State is reporting the following times to obtain a passport:

  • Routine: Save $60. Door-to-door service in 18 weeks (includes up to 12 weeks processing and six weeks mailing on front and back end)
  • Expedited: Costs an extra $60. Door-to-door service in 12 weeks (includes up to six weeks processing and six weeks mailing on front and back end)
  • Agency or Center: Extremely limited number of appointments: must have international travel in the next 72 hours (three business days)

Learn more about the change in passport operations in response to COVID-19.

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