TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - From the U.S. State Department:
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our workforce and customers, we significantly reduced passport operations in March 2020.
While our agencies remained open, with reduced staffing, we temporarily suspended expedited passport processing and restricted service to cases involving life or death emergencies.
Currently, passport agencies and centers are only open to assist customers who need a passport in the next 72 hours for a life-or-death emergency. For the health and safety of employees and customers, we are minimizing the amount of time employees and customers spend together in our agencies and centers.
As of Friday, June 19, the following agencies and centers are in Phase 1: Arkansas, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Colorado, Connecticut, Detroit, Honolulu, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Vermont, the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, NH, and our agencies in Washington, D.C. (including the Special Issuance Agency).
This means that in addition to continuing to provide services to customers with life-or-death emergencies, these agencies resumed processing of applications we have already received.
We update this page as new agencies open or enter a new phase: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/get-fast/passport-agencies.html
As conditions continue to evolve overseas and here in the United States, the Department looks forward to resuming routine passport processing across the country, while protecting the safety of both our staff and our customers.
We are working to increase onsite operations in three phases as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomacy Strong plan, which is informed by guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for safely reopening.
Each passport agency and center’s phased progression will be based on local conditions, and customers can find updates on each agency’s status on travel.state.gov.
Our dedicated team of passport professionals has begun to return to our facilities in substantial numbers, and we have surged staffing and resources from other consular operations to address this critical need.
We continue to experience delays in passport processing, as our staff were unable to process applications from home due to strict standards for security and privacy protection for customers.
This includes applications by customers who already applied for routine service at passport acceptance facilities or who mailed in renewal applications since March.
We ask for your patience as we work hard to resume normal operations and to aggressively address COVID-19 related processing delays. We are committed to working as hard as we can to process applications as quickly as possible, as soon as it is safe for us to do so.