CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – As the nation continues to emerge from COVID-19, Americans are traveling once again.
However, there has been a surge in people planning to travel internationally, combined with an already existing backlog at the state department due to COVID-19 closures that has led to a delay in getting passports issued.
The State Department says currently it can take up to 18 weeks from the day a passport application is submitted to the day a new passport is received.
“There’s such a backlog that you just need to be cognizant of what’s happening so any of you who are hoping to go in August, you better check your passports real fast,” said West Virginia Congresswoman Carol Miller.
Miller says one of the reasons for the delay is because the state department is still working on getting all of their employees back to work. “The State Department isn’t fully staffed and some of them are still working from home so they are having the same issues that many other companies are having as they get people back to work.”
Passports shouldn’t be an issue for those who are traveling within the country like passengers flying out of Yeager Airport.
“As of right now you just have to have a driver’s license to fly within the U.S.,” said Chris Williams, the Public Affairs Manager at Yeager Airport.
Williams adds that Yeager Airport is finally starting to see normal numbers again.
“It’s nice to have everyone back here in the airport and to see us hitting those 700, 800, 900 passengers daily counts. That’s been encouraging.”
And another warning, don’t rely on any expediting process to receive your passport earlier.
“The expediting process that may have been less than a week is now up to twelve weeks,” added Miller.
Miller stresses that if you do plan to travel internationally to give yourself at least 6 months to receive your passport.
If you are currently experiencing delays with your passport application, please reach out to Congresswoman Miller’s Huntington or Beckley offices for assistance.
- Huntington Office: (304) 522-2201
- Beckley Office: (304) 250-6177