JACKSON, Wyo. — Teton County residents who are planning international travel and need a passport or renewal are strongly encouraged to start planning sooner rather than later.

The United States Department of State is working through a backlog of passport applications caused largely by the COVID-19 pandemic. The return time for both a new and renewal routine passport applications has increased to up to 18 weeks (four and a half months), which includes the Department of State’s intake of applications, processing time, and mailing to and from the passport agency.

An additional $60 expedited fee reduces the timeframe to up to 12 weeks (three months). Applicants also have the option to pay for United States Postal Service (USPS) Express Mail service to the Department of State facility and Express Mail return from the Department of State which could reduce the mailing time.

“Current processing times are more than twice as long as the up to 8-week standard processing times we saw prior to pandemic,” said Clerk of District Court Anne Sutton. “It is critical that everyone considering or planning international travel stay up to date on current processing time information available at travel.state.gov.”

Advance appointments are required for all applications processed at the Teton County Clerk of District Court’s Office. Most adult renewals of prior 10-year passports (if your passport is in your possession) can be sent directly to the Department of State by the applicant, using the forms and instructions available at travel.state.gov. Applicants that must appear at an acceptance facility, such as the Clerk of Court’s Office, include all first-time applicants, all minor applicants, minor renewals, adults renewing a passport received as a minor, adults with passports expired more than 5 years or adults who do not have their most recent passport in their possession.

The Clerk of District Court Office has passport appointments available daily at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Only one appointment is needed to process members of the same family. For minor applications, the minor and parents need to appear for the appointment. Clerk of District Court Sutton anticipates expanding appointment options for the public in the future.

“We are hoping to increase appointment availability and to host one or more weekend passport application events this fall, once the office is more fully staffed and has completed operational adjustments related to the more recent phases of the pandemic.”

The office is located upstairs at the Teton County Courthouse at 180 S. King Street.

For more information on passport processing timeframes and application requirements, please visit travel.state.gov.

To schedule a passport appointment at the Clerk of District Court’s office, please click here or call 733-2533.

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She enjoys reading non-fiction, skiing, hiking, and playing piano in her downtime. Her favorite aspect about living in Jackson is the genuine admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.