New Arkansas Center Will Ease Passport Backlog

HOT SPRINGS, AR - Governor Beebe and State Department officials say a national backlog of U.S. passports should be ease when a new passport-printing center is producing to full capacity.

Yesterday, Beebe helped celebrate the opening of the Arkansas Passport Center, which state department officials say will print and mail more than ten million passports annually.

The Hot Springs facility, which opened in March, has already produced and mailed more than 130,000 passports and employs 43 workers.  By year's end, the facility will employ 200 workers and will be able to print and mail more than 60,000 passports a day.

Officials say the majority of passports that are going to be printed and mailed are going to come out of the Hot Springs office.

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