Due to new security rules this year requiring U.S. citizens to carry passports when traveling by air from Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, the average time to process a routine passport application has jumped from six weeks to 10, the State Department said last week. Expedited service, which costs more, has risen from two weeks to as much as four.
The period from February to April is traditionally the busiest time for passport services as Americans plan their spring and summer trips.
For tips on applying for a U.S. passport, click here.
In related news, the U.S. travel industry applauded Senate action last week aimed at making America a more welcoming place for international visitors. If approved, the measures would improve U.S. visa policy and procedures at U.S. ports of entry, creating "model ports" at the top 20 international inbound airports and processing the arrival of international visitors more efficiently.