Why You Should Renew Your Passport Now If You Plan to Travel Abroad This Summer

Passports are currently taking eight to 11 weeks for routine service and five to seven weeks for expedited service.

Close-up of American passport filled with stamps

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The State Department is encouraging travelers who plan to go aboard this summer to apply now to renew their passport due to increased wait times.

Passports are currently taking eight to 11 weeks for routine service and five to seven weeks for expedited service, which costs an extra $60, according to the State Department. The State Department warned the estimates only include processing time and do not include mailing time, which may add several more weeks.

On Friday, the State Department tweeted the longer processing times, warning Americans to “Apply now if you plan to travel this summer.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the current wait time is longer than it was earlier this month when expedited passport renewals were taking three to five weeks and routine renewals were taking six to nine weeks.

According to the WSJ, processing times can vary throughout the year and increase depending on demand, like with busy spring and summer travel.

Travelers who want to apply for a passport must do so by mail. The option to renew online, which started as a pilot program last year, was temporarily paused on Feb. 7, according to the State Department. When it reopens, that program will be available for travelers who are at least 25 years old, their most recent passport was valid for 10 years, and their old passport was issued between nine years ago and 15 years ago. Travelers who renew online can’t currently change their name, gender, date of birth, or place of birth.

While processing times are higher than they were, they are nowhere near the backlog the State Department saw in 2021 when passport applications took up to 18 weeks to process and in-person appointments were almost impossible to come by. 

Following that, the State Department agreed to honor expired passports for Americans who were currently abroad, but stopped honoring those expired passports in July 2022.

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