The U.S. Department of State is permitting an initial test of online passport renewal for 25,000 individuals. The pilot program is part of a Biden administration effort to make travel and passport acquisition easier to accomplish. The State Department will allow up to 25,000 applicants to complete the renewal process online in a first come, first served order.
Pending the results of the test, the process will be rolled out to the public in general later this year. You can renew online if:
- Your most recent passport is/was valid for 10 years, and you are age 25 or older.
- Your recent passport was issued over 9 years ago (in 2013) but less than 15 years ago (in 2007) from the date you plan to submit your application. Your passport can be expired.
- You are not changing your name, gender, date of birth, or place of birth.
- You are not traveling internationally for at least five weeks from the date you will submit your application. Processing times for the online renewal service will be the same as those for renewal by mail. We will offer both routine and expedited service.
- You are applying for a regular (tourist) passport. You cannot renew a special issuance (diplomatic, official, service) passport online.
- You live in the United States (either state or territory). You do not qualify to renew online if you live in a foreign country or have an Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) address.
- You have your passport with you, and it is not damaged or mutilated, and you have not previously reported it as lost or stolen.
- You can pay for your passport using a credit/debit card or an ACH (Automated Clearing House) payment transferring funds from your bank account.
- You can upload a digital passport photo (.JPEG file format). Go to Uploading a Digital Photo for more information.
- You are aware that your most recent passport will be immediately invalidated (canceled) when you submit your application and you cannot use it for international travel.
Once you meet the initial requirements, the process appears to be very simple:
f you meet all 10 of the requirements above, you must follow these steps:
- Create a MyTravelGov account.
- Click the link in the ‘account verification’ email you will receive after creating your account.
- Wait up to 24 hours for us to register your account.
- Login to your MyTravelGov account and start your application. You should see an option to “Renew Passport” after 24 hours.
Actual processing times do not appear to be speeded up by the process. The State Department website cautions against using the program if you are traveling internationally in less than five weeks. Those applying online can use a credit or debit card, as well as ACH payments for the application. “Expedited” service is available for an additional fee. People with international travel plans within the next 5 weeks are not recommended to participate.
While an applicant cannot request a refund after the application is submitted, an individual can request a refund of the $60 expedited fee if the passport does not arrive in the prescribed time frame.
For a full set of instructions on the process, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/have-passport/renew-online.html.