Renewal of US passports: Americans will soon be able to renew their passports online

The process of renewing a US passport is extremely complicated: there is currently an eight to eleven week processing time, and you have to gather tons of forms and maybe make an appointment in person to succeed. But on Monday, President Joe Biden announced the introduction of online passport renewals.

As part of Biden Executive Order on Transforming the Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Restore Confidence in Government, the Secretary of State will be responsible for creating a new online renewal system “that does not require any physical document to be sent by mail”.

“Finally, another expensive process has been propelled into the 21st century,” says NerdWallet. Sara rathner. “It’s a burden to take time out of your workday. A lot of people don’t have printers at home. It is scary to mail your passport, marriage certificate and other documents in the hope that you will get them back. This is a serious victory for travelers and the travel industry.

Indeed, the archaic system has been a source of concern for so many Americans, as it requires complete a renewal application called DS-82, provide a passport-sized photo and calculate the fee, as well as mail the current passport away. On top of that, not everyone is entitled to renewal by mail, as the passport holder must be 16 years of age or older when they obtained the original passport. The original passport must also have been issued within the past 15 years with their current name (or proof of name change), and the passport itself must be completely in good condition, other than normal use.

This tedious process became exponentially more difficult during the pandemic. “Since COVID, US passport agencies have been working on reduced capacity, which has resulted in a huge backlog, resulting in an application processing time of up to four months last summer,” said Lynn minnaert from the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality at New York University. She adds that she’s even heard of people camping at night to get places for personal renewals.

The new, simpler method also comes with additional concerns about submitting personal data, especially for some form of official identity, over the Internet. But experts agree that shouldn’t be a problem. “Many of us shop online, do online banking and manage our personal information online,” adds Minnaert, noting that the UK and India already have online passport renewal systems. . “Of course, people should be careful not to use scam sites to apply – they should carefully check the URL or link of the application to make sure they are dealing with the State Department, not with an impostor.”

Rathner adds that where you log in from things too: “Don’t perform these tasks on a public Wi-Fi network. It is best to apply for a passport online at home on your own password protected Wi-Fi. “

Although no timeline has been given for the launch, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing that it will take six to 12 months for the system to start up, but explained that “it is a priority for the agencies”, the only obstacle being the time it takes to implement it.


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