The Online Reservation System for Urgent U.S. Passport Services is Disabled
The Department of State has temporarily disabled its online reservation system for urgent travel US passport services.
At this time, the only way to make an appointment is to call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778. Hearing impaired customers can call 888-874-7793.
These phone lines are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT.
The reservation system was deactivated on Wednesday at 9 p.m.
According to the State Department website, the change was necessary because third parties had booked all available appointments in the system just minutes after they went live.
Third parties would then sell appointments to customers. This makes it difficult to determine whether a date was “legitimate or fraudulent,” according to the website.
“We are not affiliated with any third-party appointment booking service and we do not charge a fee to book an appointment,” officials said.
To verify that an appointment is legitimate, callers will receive a unique confirmation number that they must provide on the day of their in-person appointment.
Appointments are still valid for candidates who have used the online booking system by Wednesday July 21 at the latest.
The temporary disabling of this system impacts all 26 passport agencies and centers across the country operated by the Department of State, including the Dallas office at the Earle Cabell Federal Building.
The change will not affect the U.S. passport reservation process at post offices, libraries, and local government facilities. Customers can search for these nearby passport acceptance centers using the agency finder on the Department of State website.
A list of other passport service centers in North Texas is also included in the Dallas agencies section of travel.state.gov.
Current wait times for passports are up to 18 weeks due to the pandemic, and most appointments are limited to emergencies and emergencies.
Cases are currently considered urgent when an applicant needs to travel overseas within the next 72 hours, and life or death when there is an emergency such as death, accident or serious illness of a member of close family.
The Department of State website offers a list of requirements for their various services and their respective wait times.
Applicants who do not urgently need a passport but want it in less than 18 weeks can pay a $60 fee for expedited service in 12 weeks.
They can also pay an extra $17.56 for one- or two-day mail delivery.
Officials recommend that applicants begin their passport application or renewal process six months before their travel date to avoid complications from delays.
Imelda García contributed to this report.