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Science Careers Blog

June 28, 2007

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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