by Richard D’Ambrosio

While Americans will renew their passports in record numbers this year, so far, the State Department is keeping renewal wait times to its four-week turnaround goal.

The crush of renewals comes as the result of a surge of Americans seeking to travel abroad, and the 10-year expiration of passports issued in 2006-07 following the passage of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). That law requires all travelers to show a valid passport or other approved secure document when traveling to the United States from areas within the Western Hemisphere.

“We’re on track and expect to issue 17.5 million passports this fiscal year (ending Sept. 30) and 20 million in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2016,” said Ashley Garrigus, a State Department spokeswoman. The State Department issued more than 30 million passports in 2006 and 2007, Garrigus said…<Read more>