A new executive order signed by President Biden has announced a new initiative to streamline the US passport renewal process. With the intent to reduce the processing time, travelers will now have the option of renewing their US passports online instead of having to mail in physical copies of their documents and original passports.
Currently, the renewal process takes eight to 11 weeks, according to the State Department.
So, What’s Changing For US Passport Renewal?
Timeline: While this executive order has been signed, executing it for the final cut will take time. So, travelers can anticipate this change coming only later. The government estimates that it will take six to 12 months to get the online system running.
Travelers need to know: If your passport expires in 2022 or early 2023, you should still plan on mailing in the documents until a further notification is released.
No Mailing Passport/Documents: The new online passport renewal system will eliminate the need to send in physical copies of the documents and original passport. This will eliminate the risk of losing these documents in the mail.
Safety: Being able to submit documents electronically means applicants will have to worry about online safety of their private, sensitive information. One of the time-consuming tasks of this initiative is ensuring that there in enough online protection from cyber attacks.
Passport Photographs: Since the details are not clear yet, we assume that passport photos will be uploaded instead of mailed. The format for the photos is yet to be determined.
Faster Processing Time: Since the entire process is expected to be online, the turnaround time is expected to be faster as well. Currently, it takes over 11 weeks to get your renewed passport back from DHS.
Cost: Going forward the cost of renewing the US passport is going to be an additional 18%. Currently, a US passport costs $110. After December 27, 2021, the costs is going to be $130.
Other Changes In The Executive Order
- Scheduling a callback time with the IRS,
- Applying for Social Security,
- Medicare benefits online