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Passport applications are on the rise, is yours up to date?

Posted at 6:45 AM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 12:51:11-05

Thanksgiving travel is back on the rise, according to AAA.

Experts are forecasting roughly 48.7 million Americans hitting the road or hopping on a plane, which is the one of the biggest rushes in almost ten years.

But, how far are you traveling? Maybe across the state or maybe even out of the country? Before you board, you need to double check your passport because along with record-breaking travelers, passports are breaking a record of their own. 20 million applications are expected to be filed before the end of 2016. 

So, if you need yours before Christmas, there is no time to waste when it comes to applying.

The U.S. Department of State estimates roughly 4 weeks from application time to the time you physically will get your passport. But, even with the high estimation of applications, officials insist - now is the time to apply for a passport. They said, it is actually their slow season before spring and summer vacations come back around. 

"Get those passports - get them early," explained David Donahue with the U.S. Department of State. “Check everybody - check the children! That's one of the big ones. We have a lot of folks that run back from the airport after they get up there because all their passports were still valid, but their children's have expired."

But, this record-breaking push for passports, is not really a surprise to officials. Back in 2007, the 9/11 Commission made it a requirement if you wanted to travel to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Now, those passports are expiring. 

"There's a lot more demand. But, also - we've had a growth," Donahue explained. "We're up to 130 million with passports, which is double was it was 10 years ago."

Many United States Postal Service locations allow you to set up an appointment to renew, but many are booked up through the end of December; some into January.  

Another option is the Arizona State University Passport Office near Rural Road and University Drive, which takes walk-ins every weekday.