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You can get your passport renewed online again. Here's how it works

The cover of a U.S. Passport is displayed in Tigard, Ore., Dec. 11, 2021.
Jenny Kane/AP
The cover of a U.S. Passport is displayed in Tigard, Ore., Dec. 11, 2021.

Paging all U.S. travelers (and introverts) — you may not need to make that trip in person to renew your passport after all.

The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday it is bringing back a trial service to renew your passport online, saying it will open the system for all online renewals soon.

As of now, the rollout for online passport renewals is restricted to certain times. Beginning during midday Eastern time, the State Department will accept a limited number of applications. Once the portal has reached its daily limit, it will close until the next day, according to the agency.

In order to qualify for an online passport renewal, applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens and residents ages 25 and older who have already had an existing passport for 10 years; the passport must still be in the applicant’s possession (and not previously reported lost or stolen. It can, however, be expired.)
  • Not be changing their name, gender, date of birth or place of birth for the new passport.
  • Live in a U.S. state or territory.
  • Be applying for a regular tourist passport.
  • Be able to upload a recent digital photo.
  • Be able to pay the renewal fee online with either a debit or credit card.

The State Department says those who are not eligible to submit their application online — or who choose not to do so — can always submit their renewal application by mail or in person at a passport agency or center.

State Department officials added that the processing times for an online passport renewal are the same as for those who choose to renew their passport through the mail.

The U.S. State Department first rolled out its online renewal system back in 2021 through an executive order from President Biden. But after several pauses, the program was paused indefinitely in March 2023.

Last year, the State Department faced a backlog of passport renewals and many Americans experienced delays. The agency described it as an “unprecedented demand for passports.”

In 2023, the U.S. issued more than 24 million passports, a record jump from the 22 million it issued the year before.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Jonathan Franklin
Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.
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