SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — If you’re planning on traveling internationally and need a new passport, be prepared to wait.
The U.S. Department of State is saying routine service can now take up to 18 weeks. That’s because of slower mail times and more people traveling.
KRON4’s Amanda Hari was at SFO after speaking with a family who has been struggling to get passports ahead of their trip next month.
The family just found out on Thursday that they will be getting those passports for their two teens. They applied all the way back in early April and for months had no status update.
“Just total luck. The chance of getting those appointments is just really slim.”
Kelly and Metthew Kucic have been planning for more than a year to take their family to Croatia.
Their two teenagers have never traveled abroad and needed passports. When they went to the post office to submit applications back in early April, they were told they didn’t need to be expedited.
After more than two months and no status update, they have turned to in-person appointments for a non-emergency, urgent passport.
They learned about that option through a Facebook group with thousands of people having the same issue.
“They’re trading appointments on there, they’re gifting appointments, and in some cases, they’re selling appointments. People are asking $200 to 300 to buy an appointment.”
The Kucic’s finally managed to get an appointment after two weeks of trying every option.
They spent hours on the phone with customer service, tried to expedite the passports and even contacted their representatives and senators. The parents were worried their kids wouldn’t be able to travel with them.
“My daughter and I we’ve taking Croatian classes since last September together online so she would be absolutely devastated if I was to leave her.”
They say she is relieved she will get to go, they expect to get their passports in the coming days.
The Kucic family says if you’re in this situation, you may have to get creative: “There are other options. Don’t give up just keep looking for them because it is a nightmare.”