Passport Madness!

Way back in December we told you about the new passport requirements and encouraged you to get yourself a passport before the deadline of…yesterday. Now the passport scramble is on, especially for business travelers who need to expedite their passports. According to the NYT, it can be “difficult, if not impossible, to get an appointment in a timely fashion.”

Good news for you: It’s still possible to get a passport through the regular channels.

    The State Department insists that its offices are keeping up with the surging demand. Frank E. Moss, deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services, said last week that since late 2005, the department has hired 250 more adjudicators, who approve and process applications, and more contract workers. He said the department has also greatly expanded hours of operation at some regional passport processing offices. Of the 17 across the country, 14 are open to the public. The full list is available at travel.state.gov.

    “We’ve been planning for the new passport requirements for two years, and with those preparations, we are meeting the unprecedented demand for American passports,” Mr. Moss said.

It’ll still be busy, but not impossible. Regular processing takes about 6 weeks.

For more info on the new rule and obtaining a passport, click here. —MEGHANN MARCO

Scrambling to Get Hold of a Passport [NYT]