Today the U.S. Department of State will hold its third annual Passport Day, giving Americans an opportunity to apply for their first passport, or renew their current one. To commemorate the event, all regional passport agencies, along with most application acceptance facilities, including post offices, will be open and no appointments will be necessary.
These agencies are rarely open on a Saturday, which makes this a perfect time to apply for that passport you’ve been meaning to get or renew your old one, particularly if you have an international trip on the horizon. Remember, it takes approximately 4-6 weeks to process a passport application, although for an extra $60 you can expedite the process, getting your documents in about half the time.
If you are planning on participating in Passport Day, you may want to get to your facility early. Due to the fact that many travelers often can’t visit their nearest facility during regular hours, and since no appointment is needed, there is the possibility of long lines. Before you go, you’ll also want to make sure you have all the necessary forms, and a proper photo, with you as well. First time applicants will find everything they need by clicking here and information on renewals can be found here.
The number of Americans who obtained a passport increased more than 300% between 1974 and 2004. Although 9/11 had an impact on the number of passport applications processed in 2002, the effect did not last long. The number of applications processed continued to increase until 2007. There was a decrease in the number of passports issued in 2008 and again in 2009. 2010 witnessed a slight increase in the number of passport applications processed.
For more information on Passport Day in the USA and to find the nearest passport agency to you, click here.