WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — We don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but renewing your passport is taking longer than normal.

Typically, in the past it took around nine weeks tops, but now it could take as much as 13 weeks to get your passport back in your hands.

The announcement came in late March that U.S. passport processing agencies across the nation are backlogged.

And one of those reasons is that vacationing has surged internationally.

Ohio County Circuit Clerk Brenda Miller says families have started to travel again following COVID which has contributed to creating this backlog.

Miller says make sure you have proper documentation when sending your passport in for renewal or it can expect an even longer wait time.

Ten to thirteen weeks don’t start until until the actually passport agency has your application, your photo, your birth certificate, all of your proper documentation. That’s when those weeks start ticking off.

Brenda Miller, Ohio Co. Circuit Clerk

You can get your passport expedited for a fee.

If you decide to pay the extra money, the processing time takes about 7 to 9 weeks instead of 10 to 13 weeks.

It is especially important to know you should renew your passport a good six months before it expires especially when traveling internationally.

One of the reasons why: many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months after your scheduled return date.