LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — If you’re looking to travel abroad and need a passport, you’re not the only one. Currently, there is an unprecedented demand for passports which has increased the waiting time for getting one.
Trying to get an appointment at one of the 20 passport centers in Clark County is leaving some people frustrated. Your appointment may not be scheduled for months and if you plan to walk in to submit an application, be prepared to wait hours.
The Secretary of State reports in the 2022 fiscal year, a record 22 million passport books were issued and the government is on track to break that record in 2023.
The State Department warns it is taking 10 to 13 weeks to receive a passport and the expedited process, which costs an extra $60, will take seven to nine weeks. This is a two-increase from the usual timeframe. Staffing shortages are being blamed for some of the delays.
Passport demand always increases from March through the summer as travel ramps up but this year is unusual. The U.S. Travel Association reports 52% of Americans to plan to travel in the next six months and with around 500,000 passport applications being submitted weekly, it probably won’t slow down any time soon.
“The processing times had been going down for the last couple of months but with the surge again for the seasonal travel it has bumped back up. So the problem is just the backlog of the number of people coming in. I guess the system just can’t handle it,” Windmill Library branch Manager Theron Nissen said.
If you need to renew your passport, you can mail your passport with a DS 82 form (renewal application) and a photo.
If you need a passport for an emergency, you can find contact information for the U.S. Department of State at this link.
Passport services are offered at some post offices, libraries, and government buildings.