Letter to the Editor: U.S. Should Provide Temporary Extensions of Expired Passports

The United States Passport Agency is stressing out many American citizens. Vacations, wedding plans outside the country, business trips are all being impacted negatively because the Passport Agency does not have the staff or resources to timely process expedited passport applications.

American travelers who do not have valid U.S. passports can’t travel overseas this summer because of the significant backlog of more than a million applications. The wait time for expedited applications are 12 weeks. That means that anyone who applies for an expedited passport today won’t get their passport till sometime this fall – messing up the summer.

A suggestion:  Since there’s such a backlog of renewals and not enough staff, why doesn’t the agency issue a temporary extension of expired passports? If my proposal is enacted, citizens who have passports that expired sometime in 2020 would be able to go to any local post office, show them the expired passport and get an extension that would last until the end of this year.

This suggestion would enable Americans who would like to enjoy the summer by traveling out of the country to have a great summer. The suggestion would help the airlines, the travel industry, taxi drivers who transport people to airports, and most important, would make people very happy and less stressed.

Paul Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor