03.20.07

Burr: High Passport Demand Calls for Advance Planning; Expect Delays in Processing

Washington, D.C. - Today Senator Richard Burr called on North Carolinians who need passports to plan ahead and expect delays due to the unprecedented high demand at the U.S. Department of State for passport services. Recent changes requiring American citizens traveling by air to Mexico or Canada to have a passport have contributed to the increased volume in requested passport services.

"I encourage all North Carolinians to plan ahead and take the necessary steps to ensure passports are updated in advance of travel," Burr said. "The State Department has hired additional personnel to handle the high demand for passport services and my office stands ready to assist in any way possible."

The State Department encourages travelers to allow 8 to 10 weeks for routine passport processing and 3 to 4 weeks for expedited processing. North Carolinians who are traveling or need a passport in order to get a visa within two weeks should call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 which is open from 7:00 AM to midnight EST Monday - Friday or go to http://www.travel.state.gov to check the status of their application online.

Senator Burr's Winston-Salem and Wilmington offices respond to passport related inquiries and are available to assist North Carolinians with questions or concerns. Burr's Winston-Salem office can be reached at 800-685-8916 or (336) 631-5125 and his Wilmington office at 888-848-1833 or (910) 251-1058.

For more information go to https://www.burr.senate.gov

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