Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi advises residents with overseas travel plans that the U.S. Department of State is continuing to experience extended wait times for processing passport renewals and new passport applications.
“As more people are traveling internationally,” Ms. Rajoppi said, “2023 is set to be the highest demand year ever for passports, surpassing volumes in previous surges. I encourage those who wish to travel to check their passport expiration date before making plans for international travel (you will need at least 6 months on your Passport prior to traveling) and renew your passport well in advance of travel.”
As of this week, the State Department is experiencing a wait time of 8-11 weeks for routine applications and 5-7 weeks for expedited applications. Processing times begin when the Department of State receives the application and does not include mailing times which can take up to 2 weeks. Depending on demand, processing times fluctuate throughout the year.
Ms. Rajoppi added that “the U.S. Department of State is aggressively recruiting and hiring for their passport facilities in an effort to reduce wait times for processing. The Office of the County Clerk passport staff are experienced passport agents who can answer any questions you might have and assist you with applying or renewing a passport.”
Residents can make an appointment online for the Elizabeth or Westfield office, with several options including daytime, evening and Saturday hours. This service is available in person and by appointment only.
The County Clerk’s main office is located in the Union County Courthouse, located at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth and the annex office is located in the Colleen Frasier Building, at the Union County Complex, located at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield.
Passport photos are also available at both offices for a minimal fee of $10.00 each. To make an appointment at either location, please visit www.ucnj.org/county-clerk/passport-services/ and click “Make an Appointment Online.”
For the latest updates on passport wait times at the State Department, and for additional details about renewing or obtaining a U.S. passport, visit travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.
The Union County Clerk is authorized to accept passport applications and forward them to the State Department for processing. For more information about the County Clerk’s passport service, visit online at ucnj.org/county-clerk/passport-services or call 908-527-4966.
For more information about all County Clerk programs and services, visit online at ucnj.org/county-clerk or call 908-527-4787.