In recent months there has been a lot of talk about online passport renewal. What does this mean? Who is eligible? It’s important to know if you qualify to renew your passport online to avoid delays especially if you are planning international travel. Read on to find out if you can renew your U.S. passport online. 

If you are planning on traveling internationally, you’ll need to be sure to check if your U.S. Passport is valid, and has at least 6 months of passport validity. In nearly all cases, a passport is needed to travel outside of the country.

If your passport has expired, then you’ll need to apply for a passport renewal or a new passport. If you are eligible to renew, you’ll want to ensure that you receive your passport prior to your flight.

Can I renew my United States Passport online?

Until very recently, United States citizens were unable to renew their passports online, aside from a handful of private expediting companies that utilize smart-form technology in the application process, and deliver the application on your behalf. 

The initial pilot program started in February of 2022 for federal government employees and contractors, with the second and third pilot program occurring in the fall of 2022 for limited members of the public. As of October 26th, the pilot program has been closed, and the next date that the service will be open to the public is pending. 

While these services may be more convenient than the traditional methods of renewing a passport, renewing a passport online through the U.S. Department of State will still take up to 9 weeks for processing with routine service. For standard expediting service, you can expect to wait up to 5 weeks.

If you need your passport quicker than these time-frames allow, or simply want to avoid renewing your passport in-person or by traditional mail, then you’ll need to utilize a private expediting company.

Am I eligible to renew my passport online?

Just like applying for a passport using the traditional methods such as a Passport Acceptance Facility or Post Office, there are specific eligibility requirements when renewing your passport online. These eligibility requirements are outlined by the U.S. Department of State below.

  • Your most recent passport is/was valid for 10 years
  • You are 25 years of age or older. 
  • Your recent passport was issued over 9 years ago
  • Your passport was issued less than 15 years ago.
  • You are not changing your name, gender, date of birth, or place of birth.
  • Processing times for the online renewal service will be the same as those for renewal by mail.
  • You cannot renew a special issuance passport online (diplomatic, official, or service).
  • 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 still have your passport in your possession and it is not damaged or mutilated,
  • You have not previously reported it as lost or stolen.

It should be noted that your current passport will be immediately canceled or invalidated when you submit your application and you cannot use it for international travel.

Online Passport Renewal: Pros

Renewing your passport online can be a convenient way to renew your passport once the, if you are eligible. Here are some benefits of online passport renewals.

  • You can apply from the comfort of your home.
  • You do not need a printer, or fill out a paper form.
  • You can upload a digital passport photo, rather than having to included a printed photo. 
  • You can pay for your passport using a credit/debit card or an ACH (Automated Clearing House) payment transferring funds from your bank account.

If you are ineligible for an online passport renewal, or the Government isn’t accepting applications at this time, you can still apply for a passport renewal without leaving your home

Online Passport Renewal: Cons

While renewing your passport online may seem like a convenient option, there are definitely pros and cons to this method of renewing a United States Passport. Here are some important facts to take into consideration when deciding on how to apply for a passport renewal, or whether you should renew your passport online.

  • This is a pilot program with extremely limited availability. The initial user feedback has been varied, and could be subject to unforeseen complications.
  • Passport photo compliance can be difficult to achieve. Passport photos are one of the most common reasons for delays in passport applications. The size, compression, background, and even what you’re wearing in the photo can have an impact on the approval of your online passport photo.
  • Service speeds through the online passport renewal portal remain the same as applying through traditional methods. Expect to wait up to 9 weeks for routine processing and up to 5 weeks for standard expedited service. If you need your passport faster, you’ll likely need to use a private expediting company.
  • Passport processing times as outlined by the U.S. Department of State are estimations, and are not guaranteed. Additionally, these estimated service times do not take shipping times into consideration, and can often be the difference between receiving your passport on-time, or missing your trip.
  • To apply for a U.S. Passport in this pilot program, you must create a separate MyTravelGov account, and go through steps to activate it.

What documents are required to renew my passport online?

The documents required when applying for a passport online are almost exactly the same as applying for a passport renewal through traditional methods or with a private expediting company. However, there are a few differing requirements listed in this article, and the method of delivery obviously differs. Here are the required documents you should account for when applying for an online passport renewal.

  • Expired or Expiring U.S. Passport 
  • DS-82 Passport Application
  • Digital Passport Photo

Online Passport Renewal Fees

The online passport renewal fees are paid online using a credit, debit card, or ACH payment using funds from your bank account. The payment method will require users to create an account on pay.gov, which is a government website used to collect payments.

  • Adult Passport Book: $130 
  • Shipping is 1-2 Day for $18.32 
  • If you choose to request expedited service, a government fee of $60 will be required in addition to the application fees, and shipping fees.

How to get your passport fast

If you need a passport faster than the pilot program for the online passport renewal process can provide, or simply don’t wish to apply in person, you may want to consider using a private passport expediting company. 

A private expediting company will take your application directly to the Department of State, where it can be processed in as little as 7 business days. The company will then ship your new passport back to you, usually overnight.

In addition to speeding up the application process, utilizing a private expediting company can also reduce the chance of mistakes that could delay your passport application. If there is a problem or delay at the passport office, the expediting company will notify you and help you resolve the issue right away.

Expediting your passport with RushMyPassport

If you need a passport quickly, but don’t have the time or patience to go to a passport agency or post-office, RushMyPassport can help.

With services ranging from new passports, passport renewals, child passports, or replacing a lost or stolen passport, our team of registered couriers and passport advisors will help get your passport fast!

Get started today or visit a FedEx Office location near you to find out why RushMyPassport is the most convenient way to get a passport in a hurry!