El Paso residents who need passports should be aware that the County District Clerk has temporarily stopped accepting passport applications due to confirmed cases of swine flu in the area.

According to this report from a local Fox News affiliate, the office decided to stop accepting passport applications after 7 cases of swine flu were reported in the district, and will remain closed “until further notice.”

The office was already experiencing long lines as area residents struggled to get their passport applications filled out in time for the June 1st implementation of the final phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.  After June 1st, a passport or a passport card will be required to return to Mexico by land or sea.

If you live in El Paso and are worried about getting a passport, there are other places you can apply. The US Department of State has a listing of all the passport acceptance facilities in the El Paso area.  You may want to call these facilities before you start driving, to make sure that they are open and to check on current wait times.

Right now,  according to the US Passport Agency,  getting a passport takes at least 4 to 6 weeks. If you need your passport sooner than that, a private expediting company is your best bet. An expediting company can forward your application to the US Department of State personally. This results in processing times that can be as fast as 24 hours, so you can still beat the June 1st deadline.

Let RushMyPassport.com help you with getting a passport today!