Not that traveling is convenient or recommended right now anyway, but if you’re in need of a passport, don’t expect to get one anytime soon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US State Department is warning applicants that they could experience extensive delays for new or renewed passports.

According to the State Department, unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you should expect a long wait when applying for a new passport or renewing an existing one.

If you require a passport because you have a serious illness or injury, a death in the immediate family, or any urgent situation that requires you to depart the US within three days, you are eligible for an expedited passport deliverable in 72 hours. You will be required to present proof of emergency with the application.

Many passport application facilities, like libraries, courthouses, and post offices, have not been accepting passport applications, but as states continue to open up, passport services may become more widely available.

Passport agencies and centers are slowly returning to normal, but an appointment is necessary before you make your life-and-death emergency application.

While staff can still only assist customers who need a passport urgently, a limited number of passport applications will be processed, provided that they have already been received prior to the shutdown.

More information on the current status of passport services, including specifics by location, is available on the State Department’s website.

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