New passport acceptance office opening in uptown Charlotte

Although the location is more convenient, people still need to plan ahead.
Although the location is more convenient, people still need to plan ahead.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 5:57 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The City of Charlotte will open a new passport acceptance office Tuesday at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in uptown.

It will be a one-stop shop for those looking to get a passport to travel out of the country. This morning the City Clerk’s office held a ribbon cutting for the opening.

The new location in Center City will make it more convenient because until now the closest acceptance location is in northeast Charlotte, about 20 minutes from uptown.

“This is the only passport facility located in the Uptown area,” city clerk Stephanie C. Kelly said in a press release. “The city is pleased to provide this additional convenience to city employees and Uptown residents, workers and visitors.”

The passport processing office was supposed to open in March 2020 but due to the pandemic, the date was moved to March 2023. They are already receiving a lot of inquiries and are booked through the month of March.

Although the location is more convenient, people still need to plan ahead.

Now that COVID-19 has subsided enough to allow people to comfortably travel, they are doing so in big numbers and that’s caused a delay in getting passports.

Right now it’s taking the State Department about eight to 11 weeks to process an application. That doesn’t count the time it takes to get the appointment one needs just to hand in the application; that alone can take a month or more.

“Really, the entire process can easily take now three or four months which means you really have to plan ahead,” Summer Hull, content director for travel website The Points Guy, said. “There’s a lot of people that are ready to travel internationally again, and not everything in the system is fully caught up.”

People can pay an extra $60 to speed up the process by a few weeks.

Plus, once the new passport office opens Tuesday, applicants will want to double-check that application. Due to amount of requests, you won’t be able to get an appointment at the uptown office until April.

Officials say the No. 1 reason an application gets rejected is that they don’t properly fill it out and don’t check over it.