Wenstrup Demands Answers as Passport Casework Increases Nearly 100 Percent

Washington, May 22, 2023 Contact:

Washington, D.C. – Following a surge in constituent complaints regarding delayed and backlogged U.S. passport applications, Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) sent a letter to Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Rita Bitter demanding answers on behalf of affected Ohioans. Rep. Wenstrup's office has seen nearly a 100 percent increase in passport casework, and caseworkers are experiencing much longer response times from passport offices when they request a status update or response to a question. Average response times in the past were roughly 48 hours while they are now closer to a week.

"Over the last several months, I have heard from many Ohioans facing significant delays in the renewal and application processes for their passports. My constituents would like to check the status of their passport or find out why their application is delayed even though they may have paid for the expedited process, but they can’t reach anyone to help. This letter seeks answers from the State Department and passport agencies because my constituents should not have these headaches when they check on the status of their passport applications," said Rep. Wenstrup. "We need clearer information on turnaround times for new passports and renewals so constituents have appropriate expectations and can better plan their travel.”

Click here to read the full letter.

Congressional offices routinely help constituents with casework stuck in federal agencies. Rep. Wenstrup’s office is encouraging travelers to check their passport expiration dates well before any international trips, noting they are good for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children. The State Department recommends applying 4-6 months before traveling and encourages travelers to contact their Member of Congress if they have not received their passport two weeks before scheduled departure. Applicants are encouraged to give as much advance notice as possible so that our office and the State Department can assist applicants in receiving their passports.