CU students impacted by new passport law
New passport regulations are causing a record number of new applicants just in time for the spring travel season.
In effect since Jan. 23, the new law requires Americans and foreign nationals to have a passport when traveling by air to and from the United States and nearby countries. That includes Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
The Boulder post office has felt the effects of the new passport law.
“It is still typical to be an 80 to 100 percent increase on a daily number of customers here,” said Myrna Pashinski, the post office spokesperson.
The increase in flow has led to major delays in processing the passports.
“Instead of it taking four to six weeks to get passports back, it’s not unusual for it to be six to eight weeks right now,” Pashinski said.
This has caused problems for CU students who did not have a passport and got a late start planning their spring break vacations.
“People are having to expedite their applications to make sure they’re back in time,” Pashinski said.
Expedited service is not cheap, it costs an extra $60 on top of the $97 application fee, but it is the only way to guarantee the passport will make its way back to the customer in time for their vacation, Pashinski said.
According to Pashinski, the wait time at the post office could be anywhere between 45 minutes and one hour.
To speed up the process, the post office recommends bringing the correct documentation. Applicants need to bring a birth certificate, driver’s license and two identical photos.
The application is on http://www.USPS.com/passport
and can be downloaded and filled out before you get to the post office.