NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Americans across the country are experiencing significant delays when it comes to renewing their passports and officials in New Jersey are calling on the Department of State to step up and meet demands.
New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez was joined by other elected officials Monday to encourage their constituents to have patience when it comes to renewing their passports.
Menendez wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of State asking the department to explore ways to bring down wait times, like improving the online passport renewal initiative.
That initiative was suspended at the beginning of March after many users said they ran into difficulties using the site.
The State Department has seen a huge spike in demand for passports in 2023 due to an increase in post-pandemic international travel.
"When it comes time to travel overseas for vacation or f family emergency, many New Jersey residents, and Americans across the country, may not receive their valid passports in the mail on time - despite having paid the additional $60 for expedited service," Menendez said.
As of March 24, routine passport processing times could take between seven and nine weeks, which doesn't include the estimated two weeks it takes for applications to arrive by mail or the additional two weeks it takes for applicants to receive their passports once they leave the agency.
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