Since April 2002, the U.S. Government has sought to minimize the number of passports issued abroad by requiring that the majority of approved passport applications be sent to a facility in the United States for processing. The passports issued by this facility are state-of-the-art, incorporating digitized photographic images and other enhanced security features. The down side of this enhanced security, unfortunately, is increased processing times. The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo generally receives passports back from the production facility in the United States approximately ten working days from the date the application was approved in Santo Domingo.
More information about this can be found at the Department of State’s Passports website.