Passports can now be renewed online under new pilot program from US State Department

Looking for an easier way to renew your passport? You may be in luck thanks to a new pilot program that was launched Thursday.

Looking for an easier way to renew your passport? You may be in luck thanks to a new pilot program that was launched Thursday.

The pilot program is a trial run for the State Department, according to The Associated Press. It will limit how many people can apply to renew their passports. Each day, windows will be available at midday Eastern time and then those windows will close once the daily limit is met.

“During the next several months, we plan to continue to limit the number of applications accepted each day so we can monitor the system’s performance in real time. This beta release during which we are limiting the daily applications is an important and standard part of the software development process,” the State Department said.

Requirements to apply online include, according to the AP:
  • Being over the age of 25
  • Trying to renew a passport that was issued between 2009 and 2015
  • You are not changing any personal information on the passport
  • You are not planning to travel out of the country for at least eight weeks

The new process comes after long wait times to renew documents, the AP reported. The processing of passports has become a concern since the COVID-19 travel restrictions were lifted, CBS News reported. A backlog was created over the last year as well.

There are eight steps to the process. They include the following, according to the State Department:
  • Confirm you meet the requirements
  • Create your account
  • Start your application
  • Enter your most recent passport info
  • Enter travel plans
  • Upload digital photo
  • Sign and pay
  • Enroll in email updates

Through this pilot program, you can also track the status of your passport rather than waiting for it to arrive.

The processing time currently for a regular passport renewal is about six to eight weeks, according to the AP.

For more information, you can visit the State Department’s website.

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