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Bulloch office warns of passport delays

Due to a nationwide backlog at passport agencies, the time it takes to obtain a passport has been extended, said Bulloch County Clerk of Courts Sherri Akins.
    "The increase in passport applications that we are completing daily has doubled, as it has across the nation," she said. "If you are planning a trip, please apply for your passport early."
    The normal time frame between application and receipt of a passport is six weeks, two weeks for expedited requests, she said. The time frame has been temporarily extended to 10 weeks, with three to four weeks for expedited requests.
    According to a memo Akins received that was sent to clerks of court across the nation, many citizens have missed trips due to the backlog.
    The National Passport Information Center reported up to 125,000 calls in one day form anxious customers, concerned about not receiving a passport in time for a scheduled trip.
    The extended time frame for obtaining a passport began March 1, and the National Passport Information Center did not provide a date when  the time frame will return to normal.
    According to the information from the center, there are over 1.5 million applications for passports pending, and several thousand being processed.
    The information regarding the extended time frames has been updated on Internet web site and has been sent to all passport acceptance facilities, she said.
    Akins advised applying for passports as early as possible before a planned trip to ensure the application is processed and the passport obtained in time.

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