You can apply for everything from a credit card to a driver’s license via the Internet these days. But how do you apply for a passport online? Can you renew your passport online?
Unfortunately, the Department of State’s procedures do not allow you to complete the entire passport application or renewal process online. If you’re applying for a passport renewal, you’ll have to use snail mail to send the documents in. If you’re applying for a new passport, a visit to a passport office is in your future.
This may seem inconvenient, but it does guard against passport fraud. However, there are a variety of online resources available that make the passport application process easier. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of State recently announced a new Online Passport Renewal process expected to roll out to the general public sometime in late 2022.
Online Passport Renewal Requirements
The Department of Defense announced in late 2021 federal government employees, military members, and their family members were eligible to pre-register for the early testing phase of the Online Passport Renewal Process. Currently, only citizens eligible for an adult passport renewal can register for the online passport renewal process. Applicants must be 16 years and older, living in the U.S., and without name change, gender, or other personal information updates. Applicants must have a valid passport that is less than 5 years expired passport, but it must not be more than 15 years old. Only tourist passports can be issued using the new online system. Passport cards are ineligible for this pilot program.
Online Passport Renewal Processing Speed
Routine processing will take eight to 11 weeks. International travel should not be scheduled within three weeks of the application submission. Applicants interested in applying for the Online Passport Renewal Pilot Program can pre-register here.
Online Passport Application Forms
Passport application forms are available online for new passport applications, passport renewals, replacing a lost or stolen passport, passport corrections, and more. You can either print copies of the form to fill out by hand or fill them out online and print them. Either way, remember to sign the forms by hand where requested and to use a black ink pen.
Locating Passport Offices
Some passport renewals can be handled by mail, but other passport situations require you to apply in person at a passport office. To help you locate the nearest office, the Department of State has a handy search page that allows you to search by zip code or by city and state.
Ordering Documents Online
If you need a copy of your birth certificate to include with your application as proof of citizenship, you can order online from Vitalchek in order to save yourself a trek to the Department of Vital Records where you were born. There are a range of shipping options available if you need your documents in a hurry.
Expedited Passports Online
Regular passport processing takes about 8-11 weeks. Currently, the price to renew a passport is $130. Expedited service is available through the State Department for an additional $60 fee, but even if you choose this option you should allow at least 5-7 weeks to receive your passport.
If you need faster passport service and you don’t want to travel to one of the country’s regional passport agency locations, you can apply for a passport online with a service like RushMyPassport.com. We walk you through the paperwork one step at a time, and then hand-deliver it to the Department of State for processing in as little as 24 hours. With super-fast shipping through FedEx, you get your passport ASAP and can track your package every step of the way.
Need a passport fast? Apply online with us today!