Insurance Blog

Posted: 12/27/20234,674 Views

The US State Department announced in December that they have now met their goal of reducing US passport processing wait times to the level that they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. 

As of December 18, 2023, current US passport wait times are as follows:

  • Routine service: 6-8 weeks
  • Expedited service: 2-3 weeks

This is a remarkable change from passport wait times just a few years ago. Passport processing in 2021 routinely took as long as 18 weeks, leading to a massive backlog of over 2 million passport requests that took years to resolve.

The State Department issued over 24 million passport books and cards between October 2022 and September 2023 to clear this backlog.

Of course, this reduced wait is excellent news for all American travelers, as more of them than ever before are choosing to visit destinations abroad. In 1990, just 5% of Americans had a passport. Today, 48% of Americans have passports. 

If you’re planning on taking an international trip in 2024, the State Department still recommends that you apply for your passport well in advance. Remember that mailing time could add up to four additional weeks for passport processing. It’s also an excellent idea to purchase travel medical insurance or travel insurance to protect your health and finances in case anything goes wrong abroad.

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