The new requirement that American air passengers possess a valid passport to return home from the Caribbean, Mexico, Bermuda, and Canada (all places that once could be visited with just a driver’s license and certified birth certificate) now means a longer wait for new passports. To top it off, this is the peak season for passport applications as travelers look ahead to those summer vacations. Basically, plan on about a 10-week wait for a new passport or about a one-month wait if you’ve chosen expedited service and overnight shipping. Read more about the longer passport processing times on the State Department website.
Remember, the new passport rule doesn’t inclue the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Also, if you’re taking a cruise, you’ve got another year before you fall under the new rule; at the present time it’s just for air passengers.