The US Department of State has now launched its pilot program once more for the renewal of United States passports online. With all the forms, appointments, photos and long waiting times to deal with, renewing a passport the old fashioned way could be a real pain to manage. Should the pilot be successful, the online passport renewal program will be rolled out on a permanent basis to all Americans at a later date – making it quick and easy for all Travers.
The use of the online renewal service is only set to run for a limited amount of time at present, and volunteers who sign up to use the convenient service will be amongst the first in the country to carry out a passport renewal online. Here’s a look at everything we know about the new pilot program, including how long the application should take, how you can join and renew your passport online, and when the online renew service is set to be here permanently.
Passport Renewal Online – Information For Travelers
The US is hoping to join the likes of the United Kingdom and several other countries around the world by offering travelers the chance to renew their passports online. The decision to adopt an online renewal platform came as a result of an executive order by President Biden back in December 2021, and is expected to become a permanent option for travelers to use from next year – a move that could save millions of travelers time, money and headaches.
Yet whilst the online renewals system is not live at present, this week the State Department opened the platform temporarily in a pilot scheme, allowing travelers the opportunity to apply for a passport renewal online. The move follows a similar pilot adopted by the State Department back in August, and will provide valuable feedback before the platform is rolled out on a permanent basis – but those hoping to take advantage of the pilot scheme need to act fast.
Whilst no official closing date for the pilot program has been put forward by the State Department, when the previous pilot went live back in August it closed after having reached just 25,000 applications, meaning those who want to try the new feature should start their online applications as soon as possible to avoid missing out and being stuck with renewing their passports the old fashioned way. Thankfully for travelers, the process is all relatively simple and easy to follow.
Here are the steps that you’ll need to follow in order to be one of the lucky few who renews their passport online this month:
- Create an account with MyTravelGov
- Click on the link in the ‘account verification’ email received after creating the account
- Wait up to 4 hours for the State Department to register the account.
- Login to your MyTravelGov account and start your application. There should be an option to “Renew Passport” after waiting the 4 hours
However, the online renewal system isn’t open to all travelers. People can only take part in the pilot program if the following applies:
- The most recent passport is/was valid for 10 years, and you are age 25 or older.
- The 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
- You are not changing your name, gender, date of birth or place of birth.
- You are applying for a regular (tourist) passport, not a special issuance passport, such as for diplomats
- You live in the United States (either state or territory)
- 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
Travelers should also be aware that their most recent passport will be immediately invalidated (canceled) as soon as they submit their applications for renewal, meaning it cannot be used for international travel (except for a few destinations). Expired passports, providing the travelers meet all other requirements listed above, can be renewed online. The process will take at least six weeks.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com