Passports are obtained through the Passport Services Division of the Department of State. If you have had trouble securing services regarding passport issues, my district offices may be able to help.

Passports usually take from 30 to 40 days to issue. For an additional $60 fee -- plus the cost of 2-way overnight mail -- you can "expedite" this process and receive your passport in 7-10 business days. Additional information can be found on the State Department website. You can also click here to check the status of your passport application.

Even if your passport is in order, you may still need a visa.  You will need to check with the country you are visiting to determine if this is required. If you need a visa, you are normally required to mail your passport to the Embassy or Consulate of the country you are planning to visit so be sure to allot the appropriate time for this process.

The State Department also issues travel warnings and consular information sheets that provide helpful information about the country you plan on visiting. The State Department services website also contains very comprehensive information on all the services it provides both stateside and abroad. This includes crisis assistance for U.S. Citizens living or traveling abroad and various travel publications available on-line.

Need a New Passport or Renewal? Plan Ahead to Avoid "Passport Surge"

The State Department is anticipating a major increase in passport applications and renewals in 2016 and 2017. While they have hired additional staff in preparation of this surge, the processing times will likely grow from four to eight weeks with a longer wait for expedited processing as well.  If your passport is expiring this year, apply now or renew early so you don't get stuck in the "passport surge."  For more information, click here.