Now amid the cost-of-living squeeze, the prime minister is threatening to privatise the service if bosses can’t get a grip on the backlog.
Passport Office phone lines are jammed, and even its £142-a-go fast-track website has crashed - so holidaymakers are understandably getting very nervous their travel documents will be returned in time.
So what is the solution to getting the service back on an even keel?
The Evening Standard’s deputy political editor, David Bond, joins the Leader to discuss the latest.
Listen via the above player, or wherever you stream your podcasts.