Spring Break and the planning of summer vacations makes February thorough April the busiest time of the year to apply for a passport. And with a new law in effect the demand is even greater.
Since the new law went into effect more than a month and a half ago the Grand Junction post office has been swamped with passport request. In fact, business has more than quadrupled.
The law requires anyone traveling by plane to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada to have a passport.
Claims Clerk Kenny Marcella has been processing passports for the last 27 years at the Grand Junction Post Office. Marcella use to process about 15-20 passports a day. But that number has increased to about 60 since the law change. Marcella says it use to take about four to six weeks to get a passport, but now it's pushing anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks. The U.S. Department of State says the delays are because they went from seeing 70,000 applications a week to 450,000.
Officials say to make sure the delays don't ruin your trip plan early.
As early as next year you may be required to carry a Passport if you’re driving or going by sea to another country.
If you're applying for a passport for the first time you must do so in person. A valid driver's license is required, along with a state certified birth certificate from the Department of Vital Records. And don't forget to bring a check or cash to pay the fees. Call the Grand Junction Post Office at 244-3402 with any questions.