Getting Your Passport During the Government Shutdown

While most of the federal government is shut down, the State Department is continuing to provide passport and visa services due to a combination of separate funding and border protection being classified as an essential service. The State Department’s processing time remains at about four weeks for regular applications. Two weeks for expedited applications. Some passport centers are experiencing some delays.

Which Passport Offices is Open During the Government Shutdown?

While all post offices remain open because the U.S. Postal Service is self-funded, many federal buildings are closed. Passport centers within these buildings that use furlough federal employees may close. As the situation develops, additional locations may close and wait times may increase at the remaining location. If the State Department must scale back its number of employees, processing times may increase.

The United States Post Offices Remain Open For Business

Post Offices may continue to be the best option for some. But in some areas, especially major cities with large immigrant populations, waiting times can be several hours. The use of a private expediting company may be even more desirable because, in addition to providing the usual help with the expedited application process, they will also be in constant communication with the relevant authorities regarding further developments. This may help avoid trips to a suddenly closed location or the need to wait at length at one of the few open locations. While private passport expediters do charge a fee on top of the regular passport fees, for many it may be well worth it.

Getting a Passport During the Government Shutdown

Getting your passport during the government shutdown is no different than when it is open. You must gather your documents that pertain to a passport. The documents will determine the type of processing. If you need a new passport, replace an expired or lost passport, or a minor’s passport, you must submit the proper form.

Supporting Documents

Your supporting documents for your application is printed on your application. Most application will ask for the same documents. Here is a list of documents you should submit with your application. Only submit the documents required. The documents should be the original or certified by a notary. The documents are:

  • Proof of citizenship
    • U.S. Birth Certificate
    • Consular Report of Birth Abroad Certificate
    • Naturalization Certificate
    • Current Passport
  • Proof of Identity
    • Driver’s License
    • State ID
    • Current Passport
    • Social Security Card
    • School ID
    • Military ID
    • Baptismal Certificate
  • Passport Photo
  • Passport Fee

How to Submit Passport During the Shutdown?

Once you have your form and documents together, you can now submit your application at an acceptance facility if the facility is in a federal government building it would be close it would be better to try a local post office instead. Even with a government shutdown, the cost for processing will be the same. However, the processing time may be longer than the normal 4 to 6 weeks if you choose standard processing. The expedited processing cost will also be the same. The post office charges a $60 for this service.

The Alternative to Get a Passport During the Government Shutdown?

Getting a passport is not limited to post office, county clerk’s office, or a public library. You can hire an expeditor to help speed up the processing time. However, the government shutdown will delay the processing time. So, expect a few days to be added to the processing time. You will still get a passport in less time if you hire an expeditor than if you submit your application at the post office.

So, even with a government shutdown, you can still get a passport to travel abroad. Unless the government stops processing passport applications, you will not get a passport. For now, the processing continues and if there should be any change in the near future, we will provide that information to you.