Romney Secures Passport Agency for Salt Lake City

State Department announcement is result of years-long Romney effort to improve in-person passport services for Utahns

WASHINGTON—After years of efforts to improve in-person consular services for Utahns, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) welcomed today’s announcement from the State Department that Salt Lake City will be the site of one of the six passport agency expansion locations throughout the country. Today’s announcement is the result of a provision secured into law by Senator Romney that required the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs to improve in-person and emergency passport services for Americans living in significant population centers more than a five-hour drive from an existing passport agency.

“For more than three years, my team and I have worked with the State Department to bring a passport agency to Salt Lake City to improve passport services for Utahns,” said Senator Romney. “Utah is experiencing rapid population growth as it becomes a center for global commerce and tourism—as well as home base to thousands of Latter-day Saints who embark on worldwide religious missions each year. A passport agency in Salt Lake now means that Utahns will not have to travel such long distances to obtain in-person consular services. I could not be more thrilled with today’s announcement.”


Romney personally received a phone call from Secretary of State Antony Blinken informing him that the State Department is opening up a passport agency in Salt Lake City—fulfilling one of Senator Romney’s top priorities to help improve the lives of Utahns.

In January 2021, during the confirmation process for Secretary Blinken, Senator Romney highlighted the need for timely and accessible passport services in Utah and the Mountain West and secured a commitment from Secretary Blinken to review appropriate steps to ensure that passport services are accessible to all eligible Americans. Romney followed up on that commitment in a public letter to Secretary Blinken in April 2021.

In September 2022, Romney secured a measure in the Department of State Authorization Act of 2022 requiring the State Department to review and report on the geographical diversity of passport agencies, specifically identifying areas of the country with both high demand and no-in person access. This measure became law in December as part of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.

In April 2023, Romney led the Utah Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to Secretary Blinken raising concerns over extreme delays in the processing of passports and renewing its request for the State Department to open a passport agency in Salt Lake City to give Mountain West residents an in-person option for passport services. Later that year, Romney secured several passport provisions into law with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024, one of which required the State Department to produce a strategy to ensure reasonable access to passport services for all Americans, including how to provide U.S. residents living in a significant population center more than a five-hour drive from a passport agency with urgent, in-person passport services—such as building new passport agencies.

Earlier this year, Romney welcomed Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Rena Bitter, and representatives from the State Department to Utah for a slate of “passport fairs” and to discuss the planned expansion of in-person consular affairs services. More than one-thousand Utahns attended one of six passport fairs throughout the state to obtain passport services closer to home.