Teton County residents who are planning international travel and need a passport or renewal are strongly encouraged to start planning sooner rather than later. Applying a full six months in advance of potential travel is advised whenever possible.
Current target processing times remain much longer than they were if your last application was more than 3 years ago. Clerk of District Court Anne Sutton encourages those planning international travel to stay up to date on current processing time information, which can be found at travel.state.gov. While the U.S. Department of State (U.S.D.S.) currently reports processing times at 11 weeks for routine processing, and 7 weeks for expedited processing (an additional $60), they are target timeframes and not guaranteed processing times. U.S.D.S. timeframes do not factor in mailing time to and from U.S.D.S.
“There are a number of reasons an application may meet with an additional delay either at the Processing Facility or with the mail so it’s important to provide as much time as possible for your application to be processed and mailed,” said Sutton.
Sutton has heard from a few recent applicants that the U.S.D.S. required follow up information to complete their passport processing and/or there was a longer than expected mailing time, both which can result in a passport not being received within the estimated timeframes.
As an Acceptance Facility, the Teton County Clerk of District Court’s Office is a public sector office that is designated to accept certain applications according to standard training provided by the U.S.D.S., visually identify the applicants according to government issued IDs, and administer the oath before signing the application. Acceptance Facility staff are not the final decision maker on if an application package meets every USDS standard, which includes certain standards clerks are not trained on or authorized to decide. If there are follow up requirements with an application, those issues are resolved between the applicant and the U.S. State Department directly. Additionally, mailing time can vary.
Advance appointments are required for all applications processed at the Teton County Clerk of District Court’s Office. Most adult renewals of prior 10-year passports (if your passport is in your possession) can be sent in directly to the Department of State by the applicant, using the forms and instructions available at travel.state.gov. Applicants that must appear at an acceptance facility, such as the Clerk of Court’s Office, include all first-time applicants, all minor applicants, minor renewals, adults renewing a passport received as a minor, adults with passports expired more than five years, or adults who do not have their most recent passport in their possession.
The Clerk of District Court Office has passport appointments available daily, currently at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 am., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Only one appointment is needed to process members of the same family. For minor’s applications, the minor and parents need to appear for the appointment. To assist parties traveling in Spring 2023, Sutton reports her office is finalizing plans to add a second PASSPORT SUNDAY option this fall that will be six months in advance of spring break. The September event will be in addition to the traditional once annual event usually held about three months before spring break starts.
The office is located upstairs at the Teton County Courthouse at 180 S. King Street. For more information on passport processing timeframes and application requirements, please visit travel.state.gov. To schedule a passport appointment at the Clerk of District Court’s office, please visit http://www.tetonwyo.org/229/Passports or call 307-733-2533.