Are you in need of getting or renewing your passport? By now you've heard horror stories regarding the length of time it takes to get one.

I just renewed by passport in Grand Junction, and this is how long it took.

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Horror Stories Told Around the Campfire

No doubt you've heard the same talk I did regarding the turnaround time to get a passport. I had people standing in line telling me about it would probably take eight months to a year to get mine renewed. If it's that bad for a renewal, imagine how bad it must be to get your first passport.

The Plane is Leaving and We Don't Have Time to Waste

Seriously, the word on the street in Grand Junction has warned of up to a year long wait. What do you do if you're flight out of the country sets out in four months? Are we doomed?

The Process of Renewing a Passport

This was my first time renewing a passport. My original passport expired back in January 2021. After a short internet search, I set course for the post office at 241 N. 4th Street in Grand Junction.

When you walk through the doors at the post office on 4th Street, hook an immediate right and you'll spot the passport office. Once inside you'll find an incredibly nice and helpful employee who'll get you through the process. Note to the United States Government or whoever runs the show when it comes to passports - the lady at the Grand Junction office is awesome.

The Process of Renewing a Passport

When you apply for a renewal, you'll need to provide:

  • new photo (which they will take there for $15)
  • your old passport
  • payment of $140 for new passport
  • application (which really isn't all that bad)
  • some form of ID

The next step really made me edgy. You'll include all of this, including your old passport, in one package which will then be mailed off. It's a bit nerve-wracking to surrender your old passport and stuff it in an envelope bound for who knows where.

They Told Me It Would Take This Long

I applied for my new passport in late July 2021. At that time, the clerk informed me that if everything went right, I would receive my new passport no earlier than Thanksgiving. I say again, no earlier than late November.

Well, yesterday, September 2, 2021, I came home from performing back-breaking labor here at the radio station (it's okay to laugh) and guess what I found in my mailbox? Yep, my new passport. Overall turnaround time = barely 30 days.

Considering my renewal was pretty much textbook, I don't believe there was anything extraordinary about my application which would result in such a rapid turnaround. Obviously, one month is barely a fraction of the eight to twelve months I had heard horror stories about.

If you're planning to travel out of the country and a passport or renewal is in order, I recommend, even under normal circumstances, you apply for your passport sooner as opposed to later. At the same time, though, you would be wise to tune out the drama and take the horror stories with a grain of salt.

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