Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 1, 2011


With the opening of the Atlanta Passport Agency in May, the U.S. Department of State completed its expansion of passport agencies to better serve U.S. citizen travelers. The Department used funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to open new passport agencies in Atlanta, Georgia; Buffalo, New York; El Paso, Texas; San Diego, California; and St. Albans, Vermont. The Department also used ARRA funding to open public windows at existing passport production facilities in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

These ARRA-funded facilities are providing urgent passport services to millions of U.S. citizens in previously underserved areas. Each facility issues passport books onsite to qualifying customers who have plans to travel within 14 days. Four of the facilities are located within several miles of the Canadian and Mexican borders and issue passport cards onsite.

Approximately 200 new employees were hired to provide expanded passport services in these communities. To date, the newly-opened agencies and public windows have issued more than 60,000 passport books and passport cards. Collectively they can issue up to 500,000 passports annually.

The design and construction of these facilities showcased the work of local architects, construction workers, electricians and others. All seven facilities comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria.

For general passport information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778. Visit travel.state.gov to download passport application forms.

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PRN: 2011/871