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Prolonged passport wait times have some Ohioans re-thinking summer getaways

Because of COVID and shutdowns, the U. S. Department of State is seeing a backlog of about two million applications.

July 16, 2005 was the day Nicole and Shawn Connell said their “I dos.” In 2020 they celebrated 15 years. The pandemic, however, halted those celebrations.

“It is frustrating, but just trying to be optimistic,” Nicole said. “It’s not in my control.”

The plan was to travel to Cancun. Since 2020 was off the table, the Connells decided to try to make 2021 work. 

In May, seeing a four-to-six-week turnaround, Nicole and Shawn filled out their Passport applications paying a little extra for the expedition. 

In early June, Nicole called to check in on their paperwork’s status.

“They had just entered it into the system, even though we were promised it was going to be there on May 25,” she said.

Because of COVID and shutdowns, the U.S. Department of State is seeing a backlog of about two million applications.

“We have been able to gradually resume some operations that had been slowed over the course of the pandemic,” spokesman Ned Price said, last week. “We expect to do more as the conditions in this country continue to improve.”

The timetable is now 12-18 weeks to have an application approved. For Connell, the trip that was postponed due to COVID might have to be postponed yet again.

“Six weeks from [June], so they were saying it’s probably going to be after our trip,” she said.

The Department of State is saying it’s working as expeditiously as possible knowing people are able and ready to travel. Connell says all she can do is stay optimistic while hoping for the best.

“We’ll get to go eventually,” she said. “Just maybe not when we planned it.”

For more information from the Department of State's passport services, click here.