ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A rush on passport applications and staffing shortages are prompting officials to alert applicants that processing times are extremely long.

The Stearns County Auditor-Treasurer's Office says the U.S. State Department's routine processing is 10-13 weeks out with expedited processing 7-9 weeks out. That doesn't include the time it takes for the application to be mailed there and back.

Estimates are that as many as 500,000 applications are being filed every week so be aware of online scams promising quicker service.

Applications and a list of required items to bring along can be found on the Stearns County website or at one of the two administration offices either downtown or on the west side.

Get our free mobile app

Appointments are needed when applying unless a photo renewal application is needed or a renewal application.

Appointments are currently scheduling three weeks out.





LOOK: 20 photos of shipwrecks from WWI and WWII

Stacker compiled research from news sites, wreckage databases, and local diving centers to provide context for a series of striking images of WWI and WWII shipwrecks.

30 Examples Of Swifties Showing They're The Most Creative Fanbase At Concerts

While Taylor Swift has had her eras, so have her fans who have followed the musician's style every step of the way. From sparkly footwear and headbands, Taylor's influence on her fans' fashion choices cannot be denied. Here are 30 examples of Taylor Swift fans showing they are the most creative fanbase when showing up to her concerts.

28 Cat Cafes You Need To Visit In the U.S. Just For Their Purr-fect Names

Cat cafes continue to spring up across the U.S. giving people a place to pet furry felines while enjoying a hot coffee or even a glass of wine. Everyone wins. Cat lovers get a place to relax and adoptable animals get a chance to interact with humans. Some even find their way into a new home. Here are 28 U.S. cat cafes that went above and beyond coming up with their creative business name and unique experiences for cat fans in their community.

More From 103.7 The Loon