State Department Revives Online Passport Renewal Service

June 15, 2024

Good news for U.S. travelers (and introverts) — renewing your passport might no longer require an in-person visit. The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday that it is reintroducing a trial service for online passport renewals, with plans to soon make the system available for all eligible applicants.

Currently, 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 reaches its daily limit, it will close until the next day.

To qualify for an online passport renewal, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be U.S. citizens and residents ages 25 and older who have 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.

For those who do not qualify for online renewal or prefer not to use the service, the State Department assures that they can still submit their renewal applications by mail or in person at a passport agency or center. Officials added that the processing times for online renewals are the same as those for mail-in renewals.

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

Last year, the State Department faced a significant backlog of passport renewals, leading to many Americans experiencing delays. The agency described it as an “unprecedented demand for passports.” In 2023, the U.S. issued more than 24 million passports, a record increase from the 22 million issued the year before.

With the return of the online passport renewal service, the State Department aims to streamline the process and accommodate the high demand, making it easier for U.S. citizens to keep their travel plans on track without the hassle of in-person renewals. Click HERE to get started!