It’s never too early for travelers to prepare for their spring and summer 2024 trips, even though the national passport processing backlog has eased.
And there’s a US Postal Service site in Los Angeles that wants to help travelers with their passport applications.
The Barrington Post Office in Brentwood will host a passport fair on Sunday, between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Appointments are not required for the first-come, first-served event, but the USPS said it will only be able to help first-come, first-served 175 applicants. Customers are encouraged to show up early at the post office, located at 200 S. Barrington Ave.
For an efficient visit, the post office recommends that visitors fill out their forms in advance, and if someone is applying for a passport for the first time, they will need to bring a valid form of photo identification and proof of U.S. citizenship.
Earlier this year, those with a wanderlust to foreign countries had to keep their feet on American soil due to a backlog of domestic passports.
In March, regular passport processing took 10 to 13 weeks and expedited service took seven to nine weeks.
Authorities said the crash was a result of travel restrictions imposed earlier during the COVID-19 pandemic. When restrictions were lifted, passport renewals and first-time applications increased.
Processing times have now been reduced to three to four weeks.
As of November 6, it was reportedly taking seven to ten weeks to process a standard application, while the expedited service was taking three to five weeks.
These timelines, provided by the U.S. Department of State, do not include the time it takes to mail an application and receive your passport, which is approximately two weeks each way.
“Customers are encouraged to stay ahead of their travel needs to ensure their scheduled travel plans are met and avoid last-minute issues,” said USPS spokesperson Natashi Garvins.
For more information about what documentation is needed for a first-time passport, a passport renewal, or a passport for a minor, visit the USPS website.
Garvins said the USPS accepts passport applications year-round; The State Department has suggestions on its website for when travelers should begin the process based on their travel needs, including urgent travel due to a life-or-death emergency.
Post offices are among several places that can help or accept passport applications. You can also visit a federal passport agency in major cities, including Los Angeles, or try one of the following:
Where can you get help with passport applications?
Once your application is submitted, you can check your status online or sign up to receive email updates.
Please note that if you lost your passport in a major disaster, you may be eligible for a renewal fee waiver through the Disaster Recovery Reform Act.