Passport problem keeping many from summer trips

By: Paige Tebow Email
By: Paige Tebow Email

A nationwide passport application backlog is threatening to bring summer travel plans to a halt. Local Congressmen are urging the state department to take action, but for some locals it may be too late.

Legislators passed new passport regulations to make the country more secure. While the extra precautions are good for homeland security, it's causing headaches and costing taxpayer thousands of dollars.

Officials say the state department wasn't prepared to handle the high volume of applications, and it appears the problem is only going to get worse.

For Theresa Green, her family's trip to Bermuda was the vacation of a lifetime. It was to be a chance for her kids to see her birthplace, a graduation present for her two sons, and a first airplane ride for husband johnny.

"The children have family they have never met…it would be devastating if we don't get our passports."

They saved up money for months and applied for passports in February. But when the plane leaves Dallas on June 6th, the Greens may not be on board.

The passport application backlog has put the brakes on family vacations, destination weddings, and senior trips throughout the country.

The problem in our area is that all applications are processed through the Houston office.

Ever since January, citizens who travel by air overseas, including Mexico and Canada, must have a passport, and Houston employees can't keep up.

Senator Dan Boren sent a letter to the Secretary Of State on Wednesday urging her to open up a temporary office in Oklahoma City.

For the Greens, a trip to Houston isn't even an option because all appointment times are booked.

While time is running out, they are not giving up hope.

If you're in the same predicament as the Greens, Congressmen Tom Cole and Dan Boren urge you to give them a call.

Sometimes their leadership can expedite the process.

Those numbers are:

Congressman Tom Cole (Ada Office): (580) 436-5375 or Washington, D.C. Office (202) 225-6165

Congressman Dan Boren: (918) 341-9336

Congressman Ralph Hall (202) 546-5690

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