Until yesterday, it was impossible to apply for a US passport exclusively online. Sure, there are application forms and other resources available to get the ball rolling, but you had to use snail mail to send in the application. Now, if you already have a passport and would like a passport card as well, you can take advantage of a new online application procedure that allows you to send off for the card without entering a post office or even licking an envelope.

This option may not be around forever- at the moment, it is part of a 90-day pilot program being conducted by the Department of State. According to a State Department press release, “This pilot program is the Department’s signature initiative under Presidential Executive Order 13571 to simplify customer service interactions and streamline related processes, making them more efficient.”

The online application is available here. To be eligible to participate, you must already have a US passport book, valid for ten years from the date on which it was issued. You’ll also need a digital passport photo that meets the applicable State Department requirements, and a credit card and/or a bank account so that you can pay for your passport card on the Pay.gov website.Finally, you must have an email address so that the Department of State can communicate with you about your application.

Also, you cannot apply for your passport card online if you are replacing a passport or passport card that is lost or stolen. If your name has changed since your last passport was issued, you are not allowed to apply online and must apply by mail or in person instead.

Expedited processing is not available if you apply for a passport online, so it will be about six weeks before your card arrives in the mail.

If you need a passport book, you can expedite the application by paying an additional $60 fee, though it will still take about three weeks for your document to arrive. To get a passport book more quickly, make an appointment at one of 24 Regional Passport Agency offices or use a private company like RushMyPassport. We’ll walk your application directly to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours.

Let us help you get your US passport quickly and easily!