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TravelYou can now renew your passport online

You can now renew your passport online


After halting applications in March 2023, the U.S. Department of State has reopened its pilot program to allow Americans to renew passports online.

As of Wednesday, a limited number of applications will open daily at 1 p.m. Eastern time on a first-come, first-served basis.

Status of online passport renewal program

Since launching in late 2022 to 25,000 applicants, the department has conducted limited pilot programs for additional applicants.

According to a senior State Department official, the agency has processed more than 565,000 passports through the online passport renewal program thus far.

The agency closed the portal on March 8, 2023, and only resumed online applications nearly a year and a half later with the rollout of its latest beta program following improvements to the consumer experience.

In a media briefing call Wednesday, State Department officials did not specify how many applications would be accepted each day but noted they would accept a “small number of applications” that would “gradually” increase over time.

According to a senior State Department official, the online application portal will remain open each day until the daily application threshold is reached.

Online passport renewal processing times are the same for those renewed by mail, which are currently six to eight weeks for routine service and two to three weeks for expedited service.

TRAVEL.STATE.GOV

Regarding pandemic-induced processing delays and staffing issues, a senior State Department official said the agency is “in a much better position this year in terms of staffing” and does not expect any “significant delays in processing.”

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How to renew your passport online

To renew online, you must meet specific qualifications, including being at least 25 years old. Applicants must also renew a passport previously valid for 10 years, issued between 2009 and 2015, and set to expire within one year. Those wishing to change their name, gender, or date or place of birth on their next passport cannot do so online.

Additionally, those with international travel plans within the next eight weeks should not attempt to renew online since processing times for the online renewal service will be the same as those for renewal by mail.

Travelers can renew passport books and cards online for the same fees as non-online renewals: $130 for a passport book, $30 for a passport card and $160 for a passport book and card.

“Please note if you have a passport book and want a passport card only, OR if you have a passport card and want a passport book only, you cannot renew online,” according to the State Department.

Once your passport renewal application is pending, your most recent passport will be electronically invalidated.

“To participate in the public beta that begins at 1 p.m. today, eligible individuals will have to first create a login.gov account,” a senior State Department official said via email.

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

To complete the application, you must upload a JPEG photo of yourself. Apps such as Passport Booth can help you do so.

Bottom line

The latest online passport renewal beta program follows an executive order by President Joe Biden in December 2021, which directed the agency to implement a new online passport renewal experience that doesn’t require physical documents to be mailed.

Applicants should receive regular email updates about the status of their applications, as non-online applicants do.

For the latest information on the status of this program, see the State Department website.

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