Passport processing times return to pre-pandemic levels

*MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Congressman Burchett and Knox County Clerk Sherry Witt will be available for interviews this afternoon, Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m. at the downtown clerk’s office in the Old Knox County Courthouse, 300 W. Main Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902. The clerk’s office will be able to answer questions about where and how to apply locally for a passport. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 24, 2024) – The U.S. State Department recently announced passport processing times have returned to pre-pandemic levels. U.S. Congressman Tim Burchett (TN-02), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, pushed for the department to eliminate its backlog, which began in March 2020 when the agency temporarily stopped processing passport applications due to the outbreak of COVID-19.  

According to the U.S. State Department, it then experienced unprecedented demand for passports in 2022 and 2023. Last fiscal year, the agency issued over 24 million passport books and cards – the highest amount ever in our nation’s history.  

“My office has helped over a thousand folks with passport issues, and I’m glad the processing times have dropped,” said Rep. Burchett. “We see an increase in passport calls around peak travel seasons, so if you’re traveling for spring break – or have international plans this summer – go ahead and double check your passport expiration because most countries require it to be valid for at least six months after your departure.” 

Currently, passport applications are being processed within 6-8 weeks for routine service and 2-3 weeks for expedited service, which has an additional fee. 

For more information on how to renew or apply for a passport, visit Constituents with passport questions can also call Congressman Burchett’s Knoxville Office for assistance at 865-523-3772

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