If you’re planning on traveling internationally in the near future, make sure to check if your United States Passport is still valid. 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. This can leave you wondering “is it possible to renew my passport online?”
Update: As of February 7th, 2023 the U.S. Department of State has temporarily closed the online renewal service to new customers. They are reviewing feedback from participants during the trial period. They plan to periodically reopen the service to new customers in a limited release during the year while they continue to improve the safety, security and experience of renewing online.
Can I renew my United States Passport online?
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 February 7th, 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 10 weeks for processing with routine service, and up to 6 weeks for expedited service. If you need your passport quicker than these time-frames allow then you’ll likely 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 as follows.
- 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 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 six 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.
- 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 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.
Online Passport Renewal: Pros and 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 pilot program 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 passport photo. If you’re intending on applying for a passport renewal online, give this handy application a try.
- 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.
- 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. 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
What are the fees for an online passport renewal?
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, 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.
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