You’ve packed your bags, painstakingly tied dozens of flies, checked and double-checked your terminal tackle, dusted off the camera, practiced your cast late into the evening and your big trip is only days away. One problem–You can’t find your passport. You proceed to tear the house apart, sifting through drawers and checking your wardrobe, running a play-by-play in your cloudy memory of the last time you laid eyes on it. The day comes for your big trip, the airplane boards, doors close, and takes off without you.
It doesn’t happen a lot–but each year we do have anglers and/or companions who cannot travel due to passport issues. Firstly, having a passport for all travelers in your party is a must. If you’re traveling with family, friends, or children, it’s important to make sure all parties are prepared well in advance. Secondly, check the expiration: Many international destinations will not allow entry for a passport that expires within six months of arrival. Finally, do not wait till the last minute–If you’ve booked a trip for 2023 and don’t have a passport, we encourage you to submit immediately.
With both anglers and non-anglers heading to the airport en masse, the Department of State expects the 2023 summer travel season to be the busiest on record. Previous weeks have seen over 500,000 applications per week, blowing expected submissions out of the water.
Currently, it is taking upwards of three months for applicants to receive their passport, and two months or more for expedited delivery. With mailing time included, travelers could be looking at near 4 months of time between submission of their application and delivery. Per the State Department:
“The Department of State is committed to providing the best possible service for our passport customers. We encourage all Americans to check their passport expiration date before making any definitive plans for international travel, and to take action to renew their passport well in advance of international travel this year.
As of March 24, we are processing routine applications in 10-13 weeks, and expedited applications in 7-9 weeks. Processing times begin when we receive your application at a passport agency or center, and do not include mailing times. It may take up to 2 weeks for us to receive your application after you mail it to us, and up to 2 weeks for you to receive your completed passport after we mail it to you.”
If you are traveling soon, we implore you to double check the location and status of your passport. It is perhaps the most painful and regrettable way to miss out on adventure abroad.