Breaking News
More () »

Passport processing delays continue as travel season ramps up

Processing times could take up to 13 weeks, according to the U.S. Department of State.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — As the busy summer travel season kicks off, international travelers are having a hard time getting their passports due to processing delays. 

"We’ve always had some delays with passport processing over the years," said Vickie Everhart, chief experience officer with Krouse Travel. "But, this is probably the worst that we have had during an active travel period.”

According to the U.S. Department of State, about 500,000 passport applications are received by the department weekly. This is on pace for at least a 30% increase from last year. In 2022, the state department issued a record-high 22 million passports.

The surge of applications has caused processing times to increase to 10-13 weeks which has forced some travelers to make last-minute trip changes or miss their trip entirely.

“We have had people who applied months ago and are preparing to leave and do not have their passport," said Everhart. 

Travel experts say the delays have been compounded by short-staffed passport application offices plus an influx of post-pandemic travel.

“A lot of acceptance facilities are working at capacity and that’s why they’ve gone to appointment only," said Dauphin County Prothonotary Matthew Krupp. "You can only process so many passport applications in a particular amount of time.”

The problem has forced Pennsylvania U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker along with other lawmakers to write a letter to the U.S. Department of State demanding answers on what is being done to address the current passport delays.

A statement released by Rep. Smucker's (R-Lancaster/York) office said the following: 

Rep. Smucker understands the frustration of constituents who have been dealing with extensive delays in processing times and a lack of communication from the Department of State to constituents about their passport processing.

Congressman Smucker and his staff will continue to do anything we can to assist constituents who contact our office for assistance with federal departments or agencies.

In the meantime, travel experts advise anyone looking to travel internationally within the next year should be looking at their passports now.

“Be proactive and send it in sooner than you would have before, just to alleviate any of the stress and the possibility of missing your trip," said Everhart.

Visit the U.S. Department of State website for more information on the passport application process.

Download the FOX43 app here.

Before You Leave, Check This Out