Did you know that The U.S. Government has opened a new pilot passport program that allows you to fully renew your passport online? It’s true!
Many people aren’t aware of the limited pilot program simply because the U.S. Government is limiting the number of renewals in order test out the process. But if you’re one of the lucky ones, you can avoid mailing out documents to renew your next passport.
I’ve never had to go through the “normal” passport process before. My first passport required a 4-hour drive to Chicago for expedited same day service due to a Summer Abroad program in Italy. Ten years later, I found myself waiting in line for expedited renewal service in NYC for travel to the London Olympics. This month, I’ve been researching what the average renewal process entails since my time has come for another renewal and found out that I can do everything from the comfort of my home.
According to the U.S. Government, they are seeking up to 25,000 applicants this month to apply to participate in the renewal pilot program. Applicants are required to create a MyTravelGov account and once verified, participants will be approved to start their renewal application online. Not everyone will qualify for an online renewal and will need to pass the following to do so.
Renew Your Passport Online Requirements
- 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 (in 2013) 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 five 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. We will offer both routine and expedited service.
- 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 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 have your passport, it’s not damaged, and 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.
- You are aware that your most recent passport will be immediately invalidated (canceled) when you submit your application, and you cannot use it for international travel.
How To Renew Your Passport Online
If you meet all requirements, renewal is as easy as creating a MyTravelGov account and clicking the link for verification. After 24hrs of registering your account you’ll have the option to renew online.
The renewal application asks for details from your current (or recently expired) passport and your digital photo for verification. Once completed, you pay your passport fees online and will then receive confirmation of submission. It’s been reported that non-expedited renewals can take up to 11 weeks, and even longer due to U.S. Postal Service delays. If you have immediate international travel pending, this may not be the best choice for you but for the rest of us – you might want to secure your spot online before it’s too late.
Want to learn more about securing your spot in this limited program? Visit travel.state.gov for more information.