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Update on U.S. Passports

In mid-May, we reported on the increasing delays
Americans face in getting new passports and renewing expiring passports.
I offered my own renewal as a test case. Our mail at home yesterday
included a Priority Mail envelope containing my new passport. From the
time I mailed in the renewal on 24 April to delivery on 27 June, the
process took 10 weeks. I chose not to pay the extra $60.00 for
expedited service.

Pat Kushlis, a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer and a current blogger,
has followed this issue relentlessly since February, well before the
mainstream media noticed the problem. Kushlis says 10 weeks has become
the normal turnaround time for a routine application. In an e-mail to Science
Careers, Kushlis says the State Department, which issues passports, is
advising applicants to allow 10-12 weeks for routine service and 2-3
weeks for expedited service. She warns, however, that "we’re
still receiving horror stories for people who have been waiting 13 and
14 weeks."

By the way, Kushlis has put together a comprehensive FAQ/tip sheet/telephone directory/Web page listing
on her Whirled View blog that anyone needing a new or renewed passport
should read and bookmark. Meanwhile, we’re making holiday plans for the
Amalfi coast rather than our fall-back, the Jersey shore.

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