At least, not this Saturday: If you were planning to submit your passport application this weekend during the Department of State’s “Passport Day in the USA” event, there’s some bad news: Passport Day has been postponed indefinitely due to the impending government shut down.
This Saturday was supposed to be the third year for the annual event, in which passport offices, which normally keep banker’s hours, open their doors on a Saturday to accept passport applications. That’s a big deal for a lot of people! In fact, in 2009, the first year the Department of State held Passport Day, over 57,000 people showed up to submit their passport applications.
The bottom line: If you work a lot during the week, Passport Day is a godsend. If you have a child (and therefore need to round up both the kid and the other parent and get them into the passport office at the same time), Passport Day is a godsend.
However, since there’s no way to know whether or not the government will still be fully functional come 12:01 am, the State Department decided that the prudent thing to do would be to cancel the event. Their website now features a pretty banner promoting Passport Day with this statement underneath:
“Because of a possible government shutdown, the Department of State must cancel “Passport Day in the USA,” which had been scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2011. We regret that this event cannot take place as planned.”
Before you clear your calendar, though, check with your local passport acceptance office. The nation’s 24 regional passport agency offices, which are operated by the federal government, will all definitely be closed, but it appears that some local passport acceptance offices (places like post offices and court clerks’ offices) will observe the event on their own.
For example, in Ohio, the Butler County Court of Clerks will still open tomorrow to take applications, according to the Middletown Journal.
“It is our desire to serve the public and be able to meet their needs. We obviously have no control over federal budget matters, but we will continue to work at the county level and process these passports.”
However, if the government shuts down, so does most passport application processing. So, if you recently submitted your application, it may be put in limbo until services are restored. According to the Los Angeles Times, even the regional passport agencies themselves don’t know what will happen, but LA Passport Agency Manager Howard Josephs told them that he “believed” they would still “assist with life and death emergencies.”
In any event, once everything’s back and running, RushMyPassport will be here to help you get your passport application processed in as little as 24 hours.