Texas ice storm: Austin resident unable to get new passport in time for long-awaited trip

The winter storm impacted travel for many including one Austin resident who couldn’t get their passport in time to go on a trip they’ve been planning for years.

Riveer Lyn was supposed to be heading to Japan tomorrow.

"I got fascinated with anime when I was very little and slowly it just built, I just love the culture, the food," Lyn said.

The trip was originally planned in 2021, but was canceled because of COVID-19, so this was their chance to finally go, but their passport didn’t come in.

"It’s a little disheartening because of everything that keeps going back and forth," Lyn said.

About two years ago, the Department of State added an X gender marker on passports for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons. Lyn said they applied for one more than 3 months ago.

"When I printed out the form and was able to see that that didn’t need a court order, that didn’t need anything to go through, I was like yes, that’s the one I want because that fits me more than either of the others," Lyn said.


Since Lyn changed their legal name, they had to get a new passport to match their license. Lyn said it was supposed to make it on Monday right when the winter storm blew in.

"Today I guess they just got power back at the office, but it took seven hours for it to finally leave the main hub and it still hasn’t been processed in my local office," Lyn said.

Since Lyn hasn’t received their passport, Lyn isn’t going to Japan.

"I am almost tempted not to go again because it almost feels like something like you’re not supposed to go, but at the same time it’s a trip I’ve wanted since I was pretty much in high school," Lyn said.

The U.S. Department of State estimates a routine passport takes 6 to 9 weeks to process, and an expedited one takes 3 to five, but that doesn’t include the time it takes for mailing.