Passport Agencies to Open in Six New U.S. Cities

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.

Six new cities will be getting local U.S. passport offices for the first time.

The U.S. State Department announced June 19 that new passport agencies will open in Salt Lake City, UT; Kansas City, MO; Orlando, FL; Charlotte, NC; San Antonio, TX; and Cincinnati, OH.

Opening dates have not yet been announced.

The additions would bring the total number of passport offices nationally to 35.

Counting post offices and other facilities, there are currently more than 7,400 locations where passport applications are accepted, according to the agency. However, many requests—such as emergency issuance of passports—can only be fulfilled at a full-service passport agency.

Chez Chesak, a Cincinnati resident, freelance travel writer, and President-Elect of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) said that having a local passport agency might have spared his family the pain of a last-minute vacation cancellation.

“We were about to take a family trip to Mexico, only to realize—on the day of our flight—that our daughter’s passport had expired (we’d forgotten that children’s passports expire faster than adults),” he recalled. “We could have driven or flown to Chicago to see if their office could expedite an accelerated renewal, but with no guarantees of how long that would take, we just bailed on the trip entirely (which included my wife’s extended family). If we’d had an office here, we could have driven right over, hopefully gotten the passport renewed relatively quickly and made the trip (or most of it, at least).”

“Getting a passport around here is a major hassle,” added Charlotte resident Dan Ross, whose international travel destinations include Spain and the Caribbean. “There’s only one post office I know of on this side of town that has a passport office; you have to have an appointment to even go in there and there’s an always a line. People are always posting on Next Door and Facebook asking questions how to get a passport quick because they waited until last minute, so any improvements in passports around here is a plus.”

48 Percent of Americans Have a Passport in Hand

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the new offices “reflect our commitment to provide prompt customer services to more Americans closer to where they live,” noting that 48 percent of Americans now hold passports, up from just 5 percent in 1990.

“As our existing network of agencies do every day, these new passport agencies will provide service to travelers with urgent travel needs,” said Blinken in a press statement.

In 2023, the State Department issued a record 24 million passport books and passport cards. “While we undertake steps to establish these new agencies, we are issuing more passports than ever before while maintaining our passport processing times at our pre-pandemic levels,” Blinken said.

”This is great news for travelers in the Cincinnati metro region, and I hope it will just inspire more travel,” said Chesak. “Having this additional access to passport services might just inspire more locals to eschew the usual long drives to beach destinations that so many of them take, to instead hop on an aircraft and explore more of the world.”

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