Changes in travel regulations have increased the business at county recorders offices in the state as Iowans seek to get a passport. Tim Brien is the Polk County Recorder. He says by the end of this year you’ll be required to have a passport to leave the country by air or sea. By the end of 2007, you’ll have to have a passport to leave the country by air, land or sea.
Brien says many people are going ahead and getting their passports now. Brien say the latest bulletin he has from the passport agent says there are 155-thousand passport applications pending in Brien’s district and nationwide there are over 940-thousand passport applications being processed.
Brien has started offering some Saturday satellite passport sign-ups, and says the turnout has been surprising. He says,”We had octogenarians, we had husbands and wives, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, all strata.” Brien says the Scott County recorder is also offering some weekend passport sign-ups and he says you can get a passport at the Post Office.
Brien says there’s an eight to nine week turnaround from the time of application to the issuing of the passport. He hopes the weekend sign-ups help alleviate some of the end-of-the-year passport frenzy. He says they’re trying to be proactive and let people who need a passport get them now and avoid the rush. Brien says, “I do not know what to expect by the end of the year.” Brien says it costs adults 97 dollars and kids under 14 years old 82 dollars for a passport that’s good for 10 years.