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Sweating bullets - NO PASSPORT - leave in 5 days

Sweating bullets - NO PASSPORT - leave in 5 days

May 18th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 40
Unfortunately, my husband and I are having same problems. We applied 2/27 and was told at post office AND also listed on the passport webpage that the wait was 6-8 weeks instead of the usual 4-6 weeks. 2 or 3 days after we applied, their webpage was updated to I think around 10 weeks. So after it had been finally put into their system, I called to see if we could expedite after that fact. Was told we could, but they still would not do anything about it until 2 weeks before departure. We are supposed to fly out on 5/21. I have called and had our passports expedited and they have sent numerous emails to agency in Charleston where our passports are being processed. I had our senator step in on our behalf but not until a few days ago...didn't think of it until then. I rec'd my passport Thursday morning. My husband's is still "in process" as of about noon today. I need to call again for an update. Even though we leave Monday out of Houston in late afternoon, he has an appt. at 800 (Probably with hundereds of other people). They told us they could try to print it out and have it right there for us. Going to the Houston office was not brought to our attention until Thursday and my husband was out of town until tomorrow and unable to make it back. I am not sure what we are going to do except hope and pray. I think the appt. Monday morning is a long shot, but we'll see. What is really aggravating is that on their webpage and on the recorded phone conversation it still states about 10 weeks.
texgirl is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 111
We are in a similar situation. Our 16 y.o. daughter is getting her first passport. We wanted to wait until her 16th b-day so it would last 10 years instead of the 5 for children under 16. So, we applied 2/23 and were told 6-8 weeks, no need to expedite as we leave in June. I called my congressman's office today and they said they can't get involved until 2 weeks out, but the bad part was that her application went to Charleston. Usually applications from our town go to San Francisco, but they got too busy, so they have sent many to Charleston. The lady from my congressman's office said Charleston is the worst right now! Yippee!

She also told me the passport office processed over 1.2 million passports in April. They are working 24 hours a day (according to her) to process them. She also said she has gotten everyone's passport in time when she intervened with one exception- some people who called her the day before their trip. So, I am feeling a little more at ease. She certainly seemed like she will go to bat for us if my daughter's passport doesn't arrive in the next week.

Good luck, Hershey. I hope it arrives tomorrow as promised. And...enjoy your trip.
odyssey4 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 06:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,580
I thought I was going crazy as my memory was that the website back then said 6-8 weeks. I am glad to have that confirmed and not feel like such a cheapskate for not expediting at the time. I agree. They really need to increase the notice beyond the 10 weeks it now says. Too many people are being hurt and/or extremely inconvenienced.
Hershey is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 111
I forgot to mention she told me it is now taking a minimum of 14 weeks!
odyssey4 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 11:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,285
Here's a question: can someone living in a city with a passport office (such as NYC, where I am) present the forms, photos and credentials for another person and do the "stand in line" routine for them? I'm guessing so. I'm wondering can I do this for my sister who's in Omaha, instead of her going through the waiting game?

A tangent:
Have you all heard about the new passports that look like a cross between a history book and a coloring book? (May turn out to be fine, just sound a bit colorful) Each double page has a full image across it depicting something very American, such as the Statue of Liberty, an eagle ... some are less obvious, in fact I've forgotten what the report said they were. Color range is sort of "currency-like", supposedly: palish pinks, greens, blues. All security-driven, they are supposed to start issuing this kind soon. Although "soon" is clearly a relative term ...
tomassocroccante is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 40
There is such a thing as "third party pick up". I was going to try to do that for my husband, but surprise, I talked to I think 3 different people and they all gave me a different story about how it is done and what exactly I needed to take with me or what to do.

On the news tonight in Houston, they said people are waiting in line 6 hours at Houston office to get passports.
texgirl is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 01:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,000

The passport delays seem to be extraordinary, even for this time of the year. Could the problem be related to new rules about traveling to Canada and Mexico?
hopscotch is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 01:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,003
"Could the problem be related to new rules about traveling to Canada and Mexico?"

What else? Feel any safer now?

MarkvonKramer is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 02:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 409

"Could the problem be related to new rules about traveling to Canada and Mexico?"

Yes, and the Caribbean as well. Basically, any time you leave the US now, it's going to require a passport. Even though this rule was made many months before the Jan 1 initiation date, most people assumed that the Passport agencies could handle the increase. Not so, as we are all finding out. Unless you are leaving in 6 months time, it would be prudent to pay the extra $100 (??) to expedite passports, because to nerve racking to have it come down to the wire and possibly ruining your upcoming trip.
freeman0819 is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 04:20 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 671
There was also alot of press and publicity about the upcoming passport requirement changes, which cautioned that the passport ofices would be slammed and delays would occur.
This is also the busiest time of year for passport processing anyway.
dperry is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 367
"which cautioned that the passport ofices would be slammed and delays would occur."

Yes, but this problem is compounded by the fact that the passport agencies themselves are reporting that non-expedited applications are taking "up to 10 weeks" when clearly they are taking MUCH longer.

Further, it seems that many passport applications went to Charleston and that production at Charleston *seems* to have halted (I'm sure that's not the case). Charleston is ignoring e-mails from congressmen and the National Passport Office. If your passport is stuck in Charleston and you are traveling soon, you should really be planning on making it to a passport agency. Supposedly (according to someone I spoke to at the National Office yesterday), Charleston is working this weekend in an effort to catch up, but with Charleston being the hold up on so many passports, I am not holding my breath that mine will be one that they actually work on this weekend. My biggest fear is that I am forced to go to Houston and for some reason I'm not able to get my passport there. Then what?

As a side note, yesterday afternoon when I called the National Office to find out what I would need to take with me to Houston, their system was down. Also, a couple of times this week when I have checked the online status, the system was down. I don't know if either system is tied to passport production, but I do wonder how much of the delay is caused by system outages. This is actually my fear in Houston...I'll get there and the entire system will be down all day...
mrkindallas is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,288
Well, Hershey, we're waiting - did you get the FedEx package?
LN is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 40
What they told us to take to Houston office...2 new passport photos, picture id, proof of travel (you will not be allowed in the door without this), appt confirmation email (I made appt through CSR so they sent this), and if we have our receipt from when we applied before (we should not have to pay again), and birth certificate, but last night the guy said they were being very lenient on other documentation (my husband's only certified--or copy at all- of his birth certificate was sent in with his original passport application), so I was able to get a certificate of birth record from the city and he said that probably won't even be necessary.

Also, a couple of things I wanted to pass along...the CSR told me on the phone that someone told him people are already in line at 500 am. We have an 800 am appt and those seem to be given out in an unlimited manner.

Good luck, we will be in very bad time crunch on Monday, but if I get a chance to post before we leave (thinking very positively here), then I will do so. I was also told they are working this weekend and the phone lines are open. I just called to check again on my husband's passport and was told they could not tell me one single thing due to privacy laws...no matter that I've already talked to probably 20 people this week about it.
texgirl is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 849
Anything yet Hershey? Were you able to pull anything up with the tracking number?
pantelia is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 367
Texgirl - I was told the same thing about 5:00a line-up. Since you are leaving the same day, I suggest lining up even earlier and trying to be one of the first in line. My understanding of the process is that people line up early, someone come out around 6:30 and looks for people with appts and I belive those people go in first. You go in the building and up an elevator and then you stand in a very long line for what could possibly be hours. No cell phones, food or water allowed. Also, if you get out of line to go to the restroom and don't have someone with you to hold your place, you lose your spot. I assume that the closer you are to the front of the line in the morning, the less time you have to spend in the line upstairs, but that is just me trying to make sense out of something that may not be quite so organized. Also, I don't think the time of your reservation matters one bit as long as you are there on the right day.

I hope that if you are there and toward the front of the line, then when the guards come out looking for people with appts and you have proof of traveling the same day, you will be escorted to the front of the line. Good luck and I hope you make your trip!
mrkindallas is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
I'm traveling in a week and am going through the same thing as everyone else. 3 months and waiting for my passport (renewal). Called my congressman, and they too gave me a Fed Ex tracking number which isn't in the system yet, but I guess this is the process. The aide told me she was also working on getting passports for 3 people traveling on Monday and Wednesday. Interested to know when/if you got your package.
gmichelle is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 13,323
I got some extra blank passports if anybody needs one. Give me a call at 888-867-5309.
degas is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 409
Funny degas- 867-5309. Hope everyone catches on that it's a SONG. Good luck with your passport sales.

Hershey, good luck with your passport!
freeman0819 is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,048
So if a passport renewal takes 3 months and you must surrender the current one w/the application, one is effectively under house arrest in the US for 3 months!! What if a travel opportunity/necessity arises during that time? Great system....
socialworker is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,007
Just curious about the "proof of travel" required for same day issue. The only proof I have for a trip to France in September is an email from US Airways statng date, etc.

It seems to me the date can be altered pretty easily, so what would prevent a person from changing the date and going in a few days ahead?

Don't jump all over me. My passport is good for another 10 years....
Celiaanne is offline  

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