'Look before you book.' Sen. Menendez lauds passport task force ahead of busy travel season 

Planning a trip soon? “Look before you book” is the phrase being pushed for travelers since there has been a surge in the demand for travel.

Ali Reid and Lanette Espy

Apr 17, 2023, 5:38 PM

Updated 369 days ago

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New Jersey and New York have some of the highest passport processing delays across the country. Sen. Bob Menendez met with several Union County officials and New Jersey constituents on Monday to announce efforts to address the passport backups.
“We sent a letter to the State Department commending the recent launch of the task force to speed up passport renewals and bring down wait times. Something I've been calling for. I also called on the department to fix an online passport initiative which was reported on giving users trouble before it was suspended earlier this month,” Sen. Menendez said.
Routine service will now take anywhere from 10 to 13 weeks and expedited services can take anywhere from seven to nine weeks. The U.S. State Department says it's restaffing positions that were either reassigned or eliminated at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
Weekly applications are hitting sometimes 30% to 40% higher than this time last year. Travelers who are nearing their passport expirations should plan ahead since it could take months to get the passport renewed, officials say.
If travelers are looking to leave the country by August, now is the time to get your passport renewed. It’s also important to note that if your passport is getting too close to the expiration date, some countries may not allow you to travel.
Once the passport process is complete, it’s good for 10 years.



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