HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — An increase in international travel and delays in the passport process are putting some travelers’ vacations on hold.
Frequent traveler Carole Post says her passport is always up to date.
“I’ve traveled international quite frequently,” she said. “It’s probably the most important thing.”
“Almost everyone I know is now traveling and traveling easily to Europe and internationally. It seems to be a very common trend,” she added.
The trend means more business at the Hillsborough County’s Clerk of Courts office.
“We have already nearly doubled what we did last year. So, we’re on track to do nearly 20,000 applications this year,” said Lisa-Marie Kennedy, the Director of Official Records and Tax Deeds.
So far this year, 9,504 applications have passed through their office—117 more than the total in 2022. They send the applications to the Department of State, where the surge in demand is causing delays and jeopardizing summer travel plans.
“We’ve actually gotten information recently that we cannot take their application if their travel date is within their 13-week timeline,” Kennedy said.
Post suggests starting the process before booking an adventure.
“Think ahead before you plan your travel,” she said.
Passport services in Hillsborough County are available at locations in Plant City, Brandon and Downtown Tampa between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Information about requirements to obtain a passport can be found on the Clerk of Court’s website.