The U.S. State Department proudly announced that it achieved a remarkable milestone last year by issuing an unprecedented number of passports. At the same time, the Department made significant strides in improving customer service by successfully reducing passport processing wait times by a remarkable two weeks.
This achievement reflects the government’s commitment to making travel easier and more streamlined for U.S. citizens, ensuring they can obtain passports efficiently and begin their international journeys with greater ease and convenience.
As stated on its official website, the State Department proudly announced that during the period spanning October 2022 to September 2023, it achieved a historic milestone by issuing over 24 million passport books and cards, setting a new record for the United States.
Applications submitted on or after October 2 will take 8-11 weeks to process for standard service and 5-7 weeks for expedited service.
Processing times do not include mailing time and start on the day the government receives an application.
“Our dedicated staff have worked countless hours to reduce passport processing times,” a State Department spokesperson said. “We are continuously reassessing our operations to maximize efficiencies and are introducing innovations to our customer service and processing models.”
In their relentless pursuit of refining the passport application process, federal authorities have outlined a comprehensive strategy to further enhance efficiency and service quality.
One pivotal aspect of this strategy involves substantial investments in both the enhancement and modernization of technology, with the aim of streamlining the entire passport application and issuance procedure.
Furthermore, there is a commitment to bolstering staffing levels by a substantial ten percent, a significant initiative that aims to expedite processing times and cater to the increasing demand for passports. In addition to this, hundreds of additional staff members are being actively recruited from the hiring pipeline, ensuring that the passport service is equipped with the necessary manpower to meet the evolving needs of travelers and maintain high standards of service excellence.
Through these multifaceted efforts, the U.S. government is dedicated to making the passport application experience more accessible, efficient, and convenient for all citizens.
Americans are strongly advised to apply well in advance of planned travel dates and at least 6-9 months before the passport expiration date to ensure that travelers receive their passports on time.
According to an August report, the U.S. State Department passport wait periods increased to thirteen weeks as the weekly average for renewals reached 430,000. According to the administration, the problems began when there was a shortage of workers and demand increased after the pandemic ended.