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Online Passport Renewal is Back in the U.S.! Here’s How to Get In On It

All right, Americans. Ready? This is online passport renewal, take two. 

The U.S. State Department today announced that it is once again accepting applications for online passport renewal.

The U.S. government already tried this a few years ago—we even tested it out and found it was incredibly speedy—but for reasons that were, understandably, not disclosed to the public, the first test run, which in the end processed 565,000 online applications, was pulled from service and quietly revamped.

Now online renewal is back!

The program is still technically in beta and so it will only accept a limited (and also undisclosed) number of applicants each day as it works out the kinks and gradually adds more capacity.

Travelers who live on the West Coast may want to wake up a little early to lodge their applications in the morning, because the system is timed to the East Coast.

The State Department issued a list requirements for eligibility for online passport renewal, but most travelers who need to renew their standard (not diplomatic, official, or service) passports will qualify: You must be at least 25 years old; the passport you’re renewing must have been issued between 2009 and 2015 but not more than 15 years ago; your name, gender, date of birth, and place of birth must all remain unchanged; you must live in the U.S. at a U.S. address (and not be abroad).

You’ll also need to turn in your old passport, send in a digital image of yourself, and pay by credit or debit card. 

Also, you can’t have any international trips planned for at least 8 weeks because right now, the processing wait estimate is 6 to 8 weeks. That means the system will not have an option for expedited renewal. (The posted wait was about as long when we tested this nascent system in 2022, but we got our passport back in just three weeks.)

If you don’t meet all of those requirements, that’s fine. Renewal by mail is still operational, as always, as is the perennially miserable idea of renewing it in person

For more information and to start the process of renewing a passport online instead of by mail, see the State Department’s official application page

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