If you’re planning for a summer travel overseas and planning to renew your passport – do it right now. This is the right time for renewal or applying for a U.S. passport. The U.S. Department of State is requesting travelers to get the passport travel-ready as early as they can because of rising demand that could make you face longer processing time.
U.S. Passports Department is anticipating a huge surge in applying and renewals initiating this year. This surge is mainly because of the passengers who got their passports in 2007 in which the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative came into effect. The passports issued in 2007 need to be renewed in this year as those are expiring.
The department requires all the American citizens including those from Mexico, Bermuda and Canada to have their passport as well as other accepted documents that prove the identity and nationality of the carrier to enter or exit the United States. The demand in Orlando in 2017 for the first-time passport applications and passport renewals, for both cards and books, has already stated to increase.
From January to April, there were more than 52,000 applications being processed at The Passport Office Orlando, a local Orlando based passport office. This is a significant hike of over 30% as compared to the same period during last year when the agency just processed about 40,000 applications. The customer service officer at The Passport Office assumes that the numbers will be continued to rise at both local and national levels. According to him, the State Department foresees a record number of 20 million applications by the end of this year. Passport Agency in Orlando requests the travelers to renew or apply their passports well in advance to avoid the rush in coming months.
Present passport processing time for routine services is between 6 and 8 weeks which might increase as the demands continue to grow. Jones said that by applying for passport well in advance, travelers can also avoid expensive travel delays, especially if they want to visit countries that want the American citizens to have their passports with a validity of at least six months or more.
Being a passport holder, if you want to renew your passport, you can do it by mail while being a first-time applicant, you have to do it in person at any of the State Department’s affiliated passport agencies or any of the acceptance facilities including U.S. post offices and District Clerk’s Office. Passport agencies may want you to make a prior appointment before visiting; they remain closed on the weekends but will remain opened on the Passport Day. On this day, no appointments are required to apply for your passport; you can also request for routine as well as expedited service on that day. If you want to go for a regular service on the Passport Day, you’re very likely to get your passport ready in no more than four weeks. The cost of an adult passport book is $135 included of processing fees while the adult card will cost $55. The combined cost for both card and book will be $165. Being an Orlando resident you can visit The Passport Office in Orlando.