(NEWSnet) – An increasing interest for U.S. passport books or cards has led the  State Department to expand opportunities in applying for such travel documents or renewals.

The announcements include opening six new agency office sites in Salt Lake City, Utah; Kansas City, Mo.; Orlando, Fla., Charlotte, N.C.; San Antonio, Texas, and Cincinnati, Ohio. These are in addition to 35 passport agency offices and centers that are available to assist travelers who have “urgent travel needs.”

There also is now a pilot program online to allow people to apply for passport renewals online if they meet criteria such as personal information in the documents remaining the same.

Routine passport applications can already be filed at more than 7,400 passport acceptance facilities such as post offices and other government agencies.

The agency said it issued a record 24 million passport books and cards during fiscal year 2023. While there were massive wait times in summer 2023 resulting from a travel surge, backlogs and staffing shortages, the agency now says it has been able to resume processing times to “pre-pandemic” schedules.

The State Department notes that 48% of Americans have a passport document today; compared to only 5% in 1990.

Those who plan to travel in areas that will require a passport book or card can find more information at travel.state.gov/passport.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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