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On November 6, 2023, the U.S. Department of State announced, for the second consecutive month,
that processing times for passport applications have improved. The
Department is now processing routine applications in 7 to 10 weeks
and expedited applications in only 3 to 5 weeks. This is an
improvement of 1 week for regular applications and 2 weeks for
expedited applications, and it represents the second positive
adjustment in processing times in 2023. Applicants should be aware
that processing times begin when the Department receives the
passport applications and do not include mailing times.
Between October 2022 and September 2023, the Department or State
issued more than 24 million passport books and cards, which is the
most passport applications ever processed in history in a single
federal fiscal year.
Despite the announcement, passport applicants are advised to
apply as early as possible and to pay the extra fees for expedited
service and return delivery. As passport application volume
historically dips in autumn, these continuously improving
processing times may be temporary.
The Department of State is taking steps to make improvements to
passport processing in 2024. Department leadership previously announced a sustained investment in
IT infrastructure and staff, such as the hiring of 177 new passport
adjudicators and rolling out the online passport renewal program.
Without continued systemic improvements to passport processing,
long processing times could remain a seasonal irritation for
travelers requiring advance planning and flexibility.
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