Our mailbox greeted us with a rather pleasant surprise this past weekend: my wife’s new passport.
I say “pleasant” because we didn’t think we’d see the darn thing for a long time.
We submitted her renewal application in June. Passport processing times were markedly slow even back in April. And it’s gotten worse since then.
The US State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services Rachel Arndt said last week that fulfillment times are taking 12 to 18 weeks.
“This means people who submit new passport applications right now will not get their new passport until well into the fall,” said Ms. Arndt. “Last-minute passport appointments are extremely limited. U.S. citizens who wish to travel overseas this summer and do not currently have a passport may need to make alternate travel plans.”
New York Senator Chuck Schumer said his “office has been deluged with people who have been planning their vacation, who have reservations, who have tickets, and have waited weeks and even months to get passports and visas.” He then asked the State Department “to put some more emergency personnel in those two areas.”
Mrs. C’s Passport Renewal Timeline
On Monday, June 7, my wife had her passport picture at a FedEx Office store (or “Kinko’s” as some of us nostalgically still call it). She completed the paperwork that night. She wrote a check for $170: the passport application fee was $110 and we added expedited service for $60.
The next day, we put everything together and I popped the envelope in the mail en route to grab a Taco Tuesday lunch. 😉
Cut to: this past Saturday, July 17. Waiting in our mailbox was an Express Mail envelope with her brand-spanking-new US passport.
Updating Her Global Entry and Delta SkyMiles Profiles
Remember to update your Global Entry account (and any loyalty programs) with your new passport number.
We talked about this recently — but it seems the government website is now giving some people problems. We had difficulty getting the Trusted Traveler website to accept her new passport info. At least one Eye of the Flyer reader experienced the same issue when trying to update their profile.
We have several LAX trips planned during the next few months. We’ll just arrive a little earlier than originally planned and visit the CBP office inside the (perpetually under-construction) Tom Bradley International Terminal. The officers there will have to manually update her profile.
I had a slightly easier time with Delta.com. I plugged in her updated information. However, the passport will need to be verified by a Delta rep before our next international trip. No big deal there. (FWIW: I’ve accomplished this with Sky Club check-in and/or help desk agents when using hand luggage only during international mileage runs.)
Passport renewal times very much seem like a your-mileage-may-vary situation. We’re happy it took only six weeks — and feel like it was that “short.” If you’re worried about an upcoming international trip and have an expiring passport, now’s the time to get on it. Make sure to use the expedited service.
If you’ve renewed your passport during the past few months, how long did it take to receive your new booklet? Please share your experience in the below Comments section.
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