U.S. Passport Processing Times Return to Pre-Pandemic Norms

The United States Department of State has announced the restoration of passport processing times to pre-coronavirus pandemic standards. Effective December 18, passport applications will be processed within 6-8 weeks for routine service and 2-3 weeks for expedited service, incurring an additional $60 fee.

This latest enhancement represents the third reduction in passport processing times in 2023. In November, processing times were reduced to 7-10 weeks for standard service and 3-5 weeks for expedited service. In October, officials reported wait times of 8-11 weeks for routine service and 5-7 weeks for expedited service. Furthermore, the State Department celebrated a record-breaking achievement, issuing over 24 million passports between October 2022 and September 2023, marking the highest number in U.S. history.

In response to increased international travel by Americans, a State Department representative stated, "As more Americans are traveling internationally again, we are directing resources to meet the unprecedented demand seen so far in 2023." To ensure timely passport delivery, Americans are urged to apply well in advance of potential trip dates, ideally 6-9 months before the passport's expiration date.

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