Because of the pandemic, the U.S. Postal Service had to suspend walk-in passport application services and require appointments be made in advance. Add in a drop in international travel, again because of the pandemic, it’s no real surprise USPS experienced a 34 percent drop in passport application revenue from fiscal year 2019 to 2020.

Still, we wanted to see if there were opportunities to improve the Postal Service’s overall passport application acceptance operations. Our recent audit report discussed how operations were generally compliant with requirements set by the State Department, which processes and approves all applications. On the other hand, we found USPS could improve both quality and effectiveness related to appointment scheduling, data accuracy, coordination with State Department stakeholders, and performance goals.

For instance, we noted Postal Service employees sometimes improperly blocked appointment times or used an incorrect email format when reserving appointments on behalf of customers. We also found customers blocked large numbers of appointments improperly. Why did this happen? Because there were no mechanisms in place to detect or prevent it. We also identified at least four State Department reports on passport operations that could provide USPS management with additional insight in identifying areas of improvement. Management had not been aware of these reports.

We recommended, among other things, more coordination with the State Department and enhancing USPS performance metrics for passport operations. Implementing these operational improvements in a timely manner will be important as walk-in services have recently resumed in select areas at the discretion of local facility management.

Have you made a passport appointment recently at a post office? How did it go?

Comments (11)

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  • anon

    There are no post offices accepting applications in my city. I have to drive at least an hour to find a post office that qill acxept my application. I suppose that's not a long ways comparatively, but I live in a larger city while the towns I have to drive to are all very small one post office towns. It seems odd to me.

    Jul 14, 2022
  • anon

    I apply for passport and passport card on March 18 at 2302 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11229 , and I have not received it, I was supposed to receive it on June 26 as it stated on the online status. I also had it expedited I tired contacting the number on the passport application but they could not provided me any information about my passport nor would the USPS and I went to three places and called many time and sent out mail concerning not receiving my passport.

    Jul 13, 2022
  • anon

    RE: THE PASSPORT REPRESENTATIVE @ POST OFFICE AT 9450 PINECROFT DR SPRING, TX 77380-9998. I MADE AN APPOINTMENT FOR APRIL 11, 2022 FOR A NEW PASSPORT. SHE CAME UP TO THE COUNTER AT APPT. TIME & WITHOUT GREETING OR TALKING TO ME STARTED SHUFFLING THROUGH MY DOCUMENTS. AT THAT TIME I SPECIFICALLY ASKED IF MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE WAS ACCEPTABLE. ( IT IS A VERY OLD COPY-A MICROFILM TYPE, BUT IT WAS A CERTIFIED COPY). IT WAS LAMINATED, WHICH I DID NOT KNOW AT THE TIME WAS NOT ALLOWED. SHE, I MAY HAVE SAID UH-HU OR YES ALTHOUGH UNDER HER BREATH & TOOK THE DOCUMENTS NEEDED & WENT TO THE COPIER & VISITED WITH ANOTHER EMPLOYEE WHILE THEY RAN. SHE SEEMED NOT AT ALL BOTHERED WITH HER JOB. I THOUGHT THE REPRESENTATIVES WERE ADVISORS FOR THE PASSPORT AGENCY EVEN THOUGH I KNOW THEY WERE EMPLOYED BY THE POST OFFICE. i GOT NO GUIDANCE AT ALL & I COULD HAVE DONE WHAT SHE DID A MONTH BEFORE (WHEN I TRIED TO MAKE THE APPT.) & SENT IT IN MYSELF. I ALSO THOUGHT THE ORIGINALS NEEDED TO BE SENT IN & THEY WOULD BE MAILED BACK AFTER THE PASSPORT WAS SENT.SHE MAILED THE COPIES. NOW I FIND OUT 9 WEEKS LATER MY APPLICATION IS DENIED BECAUSE BIRTH CERTIFICATE WAS LAMINATED! I REALLY ACTUALLY THOUGHT THESE REPRESENTATIVES WERE SUPPOSE TO KNOW THE RULES FOR WHAT WAS ACCEPTABLE. SHE WAS PLEASANT, IN FACT VERY RUDE & NOT HELPFUL AT ALL!! SHE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE IN THIS POSITION. AND I CERTAINLY AM CONCERNED WITH HOW MANY OTHER APPLICATIONS SHE'S MADE MISTAKES ON.

    Jul 06, 2022
  • anon

    I had an appt at 10:30 and have been waiting for almost 1 hour without being properly assisted, would like to file formal complaint.

    Jun 10, 2022
  • anon

    Had a terrible experience today. Appointments in the Sacramento region are very difficult to come by. We finally booked one 4 weeks out for today. In between booking the appointment, our sons team made the baseball playoffs. There is no mechanism to change the appointment, so we left the game early, and arrived 7 minutes into the -5 minute appointment. The staff at USPS refused to serve us, stating we missed the start time and the remaining appointments for the day were full. They told us we have to make a new appointment, but there are none available within 80 minutes in the next four weeks. A little bit of customer service would go a long way at USPS. Also, appointment times seem severely constrained in the Sacramento region.

    Jun 05, 2022
  • anon

    Post offices in 10579 zip not processing passports

    Apr 20, 2022
  • anon

    I don't see any appointments for the next 3 weeks within 20 miles from my house. Why? Sue (April 18, 2022)

    Apr 18, 2022
  • anon

    It seems that no post offices in NYC are doing passport acceptance. I made an appointment to my local post office in Far Rockaway 11691 for today, the appointment was made but when I got there, they said that they have no passport officers. Checking the surrounding areas, none of them are doing passports. Not even the James A. Farley main post office in Manhattan is not doing passports. I don't know how it expected for us to get our passports if no post offices are doing them. My next hope is to try and search for a post office in Connecticut.

    Apr 14, 2022
  • anon

    When applying for passport at a USPS office, the post office requires the original certificate of naturalization which is mailed to the Department of State and later returned via First Class Mail. My friend had her original certificate lost in mail. No one cared, no one helped – USPS blamed Department of State and vice versa – she had to pay $555 to get the new original from USCIS. After my unpleasant experiences with lost mail and several lost shipments via USPS, I am afraid that will happen to me too. My certificate is too important to me to let USPS handle it. On the USCIS website (https://www.uscis.gov/tools/how-do-i-guides/us-citizens/how-do-i-obtain-an-authenticated-copy-of-a-certificate-of-naturalization) it says: “You do not need to obtain a Certified True Copy if the U.S. government asks for a copy of your certificate for official U.S. government business. For example, if the U.S. Department of State requests your Certificate of Naturalization when you apply for a U.S. passport, you may use a normal photocopy that has not been authenticated. You may use a normal photocopy of your certificate for legitimate U.S. government business.” So thus, why does USPS insist on the original? To lose it, like most of my mail? Can I use “Certified True Copy” issued by USCIS in place of the original? Should I go directly to the Department of State with these questions and complaints?

    Apr 03, 2022
  • anon

    That is correct. I just went to the post office in Malden, MA, and they asked me for the original certificate of naturalization, even though I had a photocopy for them as requested by the website. Also, I'm afraid it won't come because I need a certificate to apply for a new job. It costs $600 to obtain a new neutralization certificate.

    Jun 08, 2022
  • anon

    Thanks Mrs. Collins! For your time,help and assistance for reissuing my driver's license from the Secretary of State. I felt like I didn't have nobody else to turn to but your patience and understanding,Help me out a lot to get my CDL license sent to me.. Thanks for your help and consideration.. Ethan Daniel

    Sep 16, 2021

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