LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Lines lasting hours for people waiting to get passports at the only location taking walk-ins in the Las Vegas Valley are now a thing of the past.
“Right now, it’s fairly easy,” Henderson City Clerk Operations Manager Kristin Harrell told FOX5 Wednesday. “We are not having to turn people away because the volume has dropped so much.”
Harrell reports that wait times have plummeted.
“Our expedited passports, which, at their height, were taking 7 to 9 weeks, are now down to 2 to 3 weeks,” she said.
The city moved passport operations to the Development Services Center in City Hall early last year, which Harrell says has helped.
“We did that because we thought this was a more comfortable environment for our customers,” she explained. “It’s worked out really well and our customers seem to like it, so we’re going to stay permanently in this location.”
The lack of a backlog from the U.S. Department of State has played a large role in the wait reduction, Harrell says. She also gives credit to the new hybrid system that includes appointments which start at 8:30 a.m.
“We’re not seeing those 80-100 people lining up early morning like we used to see,” she said.
Henderson is still taking walk-ins starting at noon and lasting until 3:30 p.m. or when the office hits maximum capacity. An extra $60 will expedite your process, but Harrell says right now, that’s not entirely necessary if you’re planning months in advance.
“If you want to travel for summer, it’s still great to get in right now, but you could do routine processing and you should have no problem getting your passport in time for summer travel,” she explained.
And although a likely summer rush is still in the future, Harrell is optimistic about the future.
“I don’t anticipate returning to the numbers we saw post-Covid,” she predicted. “I think most of that backlog is over. But we never know when the U.S. Department of State is going to change their processing times. So right now, when we’re in a lull, is probably the best time to get your passport.”
If you plan on going, you’ll need your original birth certificate and a check or money order for your U.S. State Department fees. Cash or credit card will not be accepted for those fees.
If you’re renewing your passport and it has either not yet expired or it expired less than five years ago, you can go through the renewal process through mail.
Copyright 2024 KVVU. All rights reserved.