Officials advising Iowans to plans trips in advance while dealing with passport delays

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NEVADA, Iowa — Iowans looking to renew their passport for an international trip this summer may have to change their plans. 

Story County’s Recorder, Stacie Herridge, says her office is seeing an influx of residents seeking to apply for passports. However, Herridge stresses that the U.S State Department Passport Services is ultimately in control of the timeframe of receiving a passport. 

“Once it leaves our office, it goes to the passport agency. And they’re the processing facility that actually does the passport issuing,” Herridge said. “We’re just kind of the middleman.” 

After closing last year due to the pandemic, the U.S State Department Passport Services was met with countless passport applications when employees in the office returned to the office. 

According to the U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services, the department says it has a backlog of up to two million applications.

During a normal year, it usually takes four to six weeks to get a passport and two weeks if you pay the expedited fee. 

However, the U.S State Department Passport Services reports that the estimated wait time for a passport has jumped to 18 weeks. Those who’ve recently applied for a passport should receive their passport in November. 

Herridge is advising Iowans to get their applications in now for trips later in the year. 

“If you’re thinking about taking a trip at Christmas time or next March for spring break, I would do it now,” Herridge said. “This is a good time to think about planning a trip and get all those documents together that you need to do to just plan ahead.”

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