U.S. Passport Demand Surges, Leading to New Agencies Across the Country

More Americans are traveling abroad today than at any other time in history.
Significant increase in US passport holders
© Miguel Ángel Sanz

More Americans are traveling abroad today than at any other time in history. In 1990, only 5 percent of Americans held a passport. Today, that number has soared to 48 percent. Reflecting this trend, the Department of State issued over 24 million passport books and cards in Fiscal Year 2023, setting a new record.

To better serve the increasing number of Americans seeking U.S. passports, the Department of State is establishing six new passport agencies. These offices, which will open in Salt Lake City, Utah; Kansas City, Missouri; Orlando, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; and Cincinnati, Ohio, underscore the Department’s commitment to providing prompt customer service to more Americans closer to where they live.

With these additional facilities, the passport network will expand to 35 passport agencies and centers, supplemented by over 7,400 public passport acceptance facilities nationwide. The new agencies will continue the crucial work of assisting travelers with urgent passport needs, ensuring timely service for those requiring expedited processing. For non-urgent needs, travelers can apply at any of the numerous passport acceptance facilities, which include post offices and local government offices. Impressively, more than 99 percent of Americans already live within 25 miles of such a facility.

Despite the growing demand, the Department of State has maintained passport processing times at pre-pandemic levels. This efficiency is a testament to the Department’s commitment to service and the support received from Congress. The Department expressed its gratitude to congressional partners and stakeholders this week in opening the new facilities.

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to apply for or renew their passports well in advance of booking their travel.

The latest breaking news from the Digital Weekday editorial team.

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