Passport Processing Times Speed Up: The Kiplinger Letter

The State Department credits shrinking passport processing times to an increase in staff and to new technology.

To help you understand recent efforts by the State Department to lower expected wait times to obtain or renew a passport and how airports are becoming more customer-focused, as well as what we expect to happen in the future, our highly experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest…

Passport processing
It’s getting easier to obtain or renew your passport, as delays ease. Processing times are now eight to eleven weeks for routine service and five to seven weeks for expedited (which costs an additional $60), a significant improvement. The State Department credits improved staffing levels (up 10 percent this year), as well as technological advancement, with bringing down processing times. With more hires expected in the near future, they should continue to decline.

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Sean Lengell
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

Sean Lengell covers Congress and government policy for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in January 2017 he served as a congressional reporter for eight years with the Washington Examiner and the Washington Times. He previously covered local news for the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. A native of northern Illinois who spent much of his youth in St. Petersburg, Fla., he holds a bachelor's degree in English from Marquette University.