US Passport Online Renewal: What You Need To Know
Given the success of the pilot program for passport online renewal, the US State Department has stated that it intends to permanently implement the service in the first quarter of 2023.
In anticipation of the new system, the State Department has established the eligibility criteria and process for renewing a US passport online.
Applicants will create an account on MyTravelGov, complete and submit the application online, upload a digital passport photograph, and pay the fee. Applicants will also be able to select the preferred service, and preferred delivery service and will be able to track the progress of their applications.
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Who Can Apply For Online Renewal
According to the US Department of State, several criteria must be met to determine if you can renew your passport online.
Applicants will need to meet the following criteria:
- The most recent passport is/was valid for 10 years, and the applicant is aged 25 or older
- The recent passport was issued over 9 years but less than 15 years from the date you plan to submit your application
- The applicant is not changing the name, gender, date of birth, or place of birth
- The applicant is not travelling internationally for at least six weeks from the date of application submission
- The applicant is applying for a regular (tourist) passport. A special issuance (diplomatic, official, service) passport cannot be renewed online
- The applicant lives in the United States (either state or territory). Applicants who live in a foreign country or have an Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) address do not qualify to renew online; and
- The applicant has the passport on hand, it is not damaged or mutilated, and the applicant has not previously reported it as lost or stolen.
- The applicant can pay for the passport using a credit/debit card or an ACH (Automated Clearing House) payment transferring funds from the bank account.
- The applicant can upload a digital passport photo
- The applicant is aware that the most recent passport will be immediately invalidated (cancelled) upon submission of the application and cannot be used for international travel.
Processing times for the online renewal service will be the same as those for renewal by mail. Standard passport applications usually take about 6-9 weeks and the expedited processing time takes 3-5 weeks.
Applicants who do not qualify for an online renewal may renew via mail or in person at a Regional Passport Agency or Acceptance Facility.
It is important to remember that the current will be cancelled immediately once a renewal application is filed online, and it cannot be used for international travel, even if it is still valid.
Once the new passport is received, applicants should retain the previous passport, place a sticker on it as a reminder that it cannot be used for international travel or identification purposes, and store it in a secure location for safekeeping. Do not send the old passport to the State Department unless you are requested to do so
Wait times for all passport applications have slowly improved since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online Passport Renewal Process
The process of renewing a passport online is fairly straightforward. First, applicants need to create a MyTravelGov account.
After creating an account, the next step will be to open an “account verification” email sent from the state department and click the hyperlink to activate your MyTravelGov account. Keep in mind that it may take up to 24 hours for the state department to register your account.
You will then be able to log in to your account and click the “Renew Passport” button to begin your application.
The fee for an adult passport book is $130. The fee for an adult passport card is $30, this is only valid for travel by land and sea to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. The fee for an adult passport book and card is $160.
If you have technical difficulties or need help, you can send the state department an email with your support questions.
Finally, do not attempt to renew your passport online if you have plans to travel soon. Applicants with urgent international travel and who need a US passport for travel may still apply at a Regional Passport Agency by calling 1-877-487-2778 to schedule an appointment at any Regional Passport Agency. Evidence of international travel within two weeks of the appointment is required when applying in person at a Regional Passport Agency.
Is your passport still valid for international travel? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.
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If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or a visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.
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