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Passport processing resumes at some Central Coast sites after COVID-19 related closures

Posted at 9:50 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 12:50:50-04

Passport application processing is underway again at some California sites after the federal government suspended services in the spring.

The federal government ordered the suspension of passport processing in March, except for life or death situations.

The U.S. State Department issued guidance earlier this week that allowed 16 processing hubs nationwide, including L.A., San Francisco, and San Diego, to resume work.

Expedited processing services are still suspended.

Passports are being processed again at Lompoc's Anderson Recreation Center, which was used until recently as a COVID-19 test site.

Though passports are often considered a necessity for international travel, Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne said it's also a tool many rely on as a form of ID.

"There are individuals in our community who may not drive or utilize a driver's license as an ID card but utilize their passport as an ID card," You might also work in an industry that still requires you to travel so even though a lot of international travel has banned the U.S., there are still countries that haven't and still jobs that travel internationally that require the passport."

Applications are being accepted on an appointment-only basis and expedited processing is still on hold.

Applicants must wear a mask to the appointment and are encouraged to bring in an approved passport photo.

Passport processing typically takes about four to six weeks, but a nationwide backlog of 1.5 million passport applications means processing delays are likely.

There are at least 20 acceptance facilities from Paso Robles to Los Alamos.