The passport renewal process will get easier in 2023. According to the U.S. Department of State, the public will be able to renew passports online starting early next year.
This announcement comes after two successful pilot programs. The first was launched in February and the second in August of this year. Federal government employees and contractors participated in the first pilot program. There were 25,000 members of the public that participated in the second pilot program. The third pilot program recently ended on September 17th.
In December 2021, President Biden gave the Stage Department an Executive Order to create a safe way to renew travelers’ passports online.
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Benefits of online passport renewals
Renewing passports online could cut the time of the renewal process by 1-7 weeks. The average renewal process time by mail is 8-7 weeks. With online passport renewal, the average time would be 5-7 weeks.
The pandemic has made the process times even longer. According to The New York Times, some renewals have taken up to 18 weeks to process. Even expedited service has seen significant delays.
Who can currently renew online?
Currently, only individuals who had access to the pilot passport renewal program before the third program on September 17th can renew online.
All renewals have to be via traditional methods until 2023.
Many countries require travelers to have passports with expiration dates at least six months away from the return date of their trip.