Post Offices across the nation are holding springtime passport fairs, helping customers get ready for the summer travel season while generating revenue for USPS.
The fairs often are held on weekends and allow participants to apply for passports without having to make an appointment.
“A lot of people can’t make it to the Post Office during the week, so [the fairs make] it as convenient as possible,” said Racine, WI, Postmaster Ed Palladino, whose office generated $4,400 at a recent fair.
Passports are a revenue source for USPS, which accepted more than 5.4 million passport applications last year. In addition to processing applications, some offices offer passport photos and related services.
Passports are surging in the United States overall as people become more mobile. The State Department issued 15.6 million passports in 2015, up 53 percent from a decade earlier.
In addition to generating revenue, USPS passport fairs give employees an opportunity to build relationships with customers.
“I enjoy meeting the families who attend the fairs,” said Retail Associate Ronald Carter, who handles applications at the Atlanta Midtown Passport Acceptance Center, a top revenue-generating passport site. “[They’re always] excited to talk to us about their travel plans.”