The Essentials

New or Renewed Passports During Pandemic

If you need a passport or need an expiring passport renewed, you’re not alone.

There’s a backlog of nearly 2 million people waiting. To compound matters, even if your passport has six months of validity remaining, there are many countries that won’t let you enter if your passport will expire in less than half a year. The clock is ticking.

So what can you do to speed up the process? Passports can only be processed at secure facilities, and understaffed agencies have a huge backlog of paperwork.

Some outside passport expediters can charge as much as $300 to get your passport. That’s way too expensive. Now, there’s an app called — appropriately — ItsEasy. It can get your passport for about $35, plus government fees, and shorten the wait time from six months to less than three weeks.

And now that the summer is over, it’s a perfect time to plan ahead for when the rest of the world reopens in 2021 and get your passport now.