York County officials recommend applying for passport months in advance

YORK COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – If you’re planning to spend your time-off outside of the United States this year there are many essentials you’ll need, but none are nearly as important as a passport.

It’s needed for all out of country travel, and recent delays have led to a rise in processing times, causing people to wait longer before receiving their passport.

CN2’s Zane Cina stamping his passport, and learning the best time to apply.

Chief Deputy Clerk of Court, Angie Bryant, says York County’s Passport Acceptance Facility has remained busy now that pandemic restrictions are a thing of the past.

“There was a surge, people decided once Covid was over, we’re going to travel again. And people that didn’t travel are traveling now,” Bryant said. “It caused a lot of delays and a lot of not having as many people employed to process the applications once they’re sent to the federal government. So I think that was part of the problem.”

Facility officials also gave a reminder that expedited passports can only be requested if you are leaving the United States within the next 14 calendar days, or 28 days if the country of travel requires a visa.

The Passport Facility is also working to implement a new live electronic queuing system that will minimize wait times.

“We’re actually getting ready to go to a live electronic queuing system. It’s going to have a QR Code that you will scan and it will take them directly to the queuing system, ask them several pertinent questions,” Bryant said. “It will put them in the queue and tell them when they need to appear in our office.”

Officials hope to unveil the new queuing system sometime this June.

Passport Facility staff say expedited passports can also be requested through your elected congress member.

Congressman Ralph Norman announced in a recent update, his office is happy to help. But, again saying expedited passports can only be issued to those scheduled to leave the United States within the next 14 days, or 28 days if a visa is required for the Country of travel.

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