New Passport Offices Are Opening in These 6 U.S. Cities

More U.S. nationals than ever before are applying for passports. To help keep up with the demand, the State Department plans to open additional passport agencies.

A blue U.S. passport lying flat on a table with a couple of pens in the background

A new passport office could be coming to a city near you.

Courtesy of Robert Conklin/Unsplash

Between October 2022 and September 2023, the U.S. Department of State issued more than 24 million passport books and cards—the highest number for a fiscal year in the agency’s history. And that was with lingering pandemic-fueled staffing shortages that saw processing times jump from the normal 6 to 8 weeks to between 10 and 13 weeks. (Processing times have since returned to the 6-to-8-week time frame.)

“More Americans can travel abroad today than at any time in our history,” the State Department wrote in a statement, also noting that 48 percent of Americans now hold passports, up from just 5 percent in 1990.

Now, in an effort to provide passport services to Americans closer to where they live and keep passport processing wait times down, the State Department has announced plans to open six new passport agencies. The new offices will help “better serve the growing number of Americans seeking U.S. passports,” the agency added.

These are the cities where new U.S. passport offices will soon open:

  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Cincinnati, Ohio

The State Department has yet to release a precise timeline for when the new offices will begin accepting passport applications, but when they do open, it will bring the total number of passport centers across the USA to 35.

In addition to regular services for first-time passports and renewals, these offices will also provide fast-track service, where travelers can get an expedited passport within two weeks and, in some life-or-death cases, same-day passport issuance. The faster service, however, does require an in-person appointment.

Although first-time passport applicants must apply in person, it doesn’t need to be at one of the passport centers. There are also upwards of 7,400 public passport acceptance facilities nationwide, including post offices, libraries, and clerk of court offices, that can take routine applications for mail-in processing. Another option for first-time applicants is the State Department–run “Special Passport Acceptance Fairs,” which are being held this summer in Arizona, California, Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Those who need to renew can typically do so by mail, though a limited number of applicants each day are currently being allowed to participate in a beta test of an online renewal program before the capabilities roll out on a larger scale.

As of press time, the processing time for U.S. passports is six to eight weeks (or two to three for expedited service). Application fees for passport books and cards are $130 and $30, respectively. To apply for a new passport, you’ll need to provide the passport application form, proof of U.S. citizenship (such as a birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, or certificate of citizenship), an ID (like a driver’s license or U.S. military ID), and a passport photo taken within the past six months. The State Department recommends that travelers apply for or renew their passports at least six months before travel.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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