You Can Finally Renew Your Passport Online—Here’s How

Updated: Jul. 11, 2024

This is a total game-changer … if you qualify

Are you finally ready to book that fabulous trip that you’ve been daydreaming about? Maybe it’s a wine tour in Italy or a cruise around Japan. Lucky you! It’s going to be amazing, we’re sure. What isn’t going to be quite as amazing? Renewing your passport before you go. It can be a hassle to schlep to an in-person appointment or even to gather everything you need to mail in. Or, rather, it was a hassle until now. The U.S. Department of State just launched an online passport-renewal program that will make the process a whole lot easier.

However, the program is still in the beta test phase and has a few restrictions. So what will that mean for you and your attempt to take care of this task online? Here’s what you need to know.

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Can anyone renew their passport online?

As of right now, no. There are a few restrictions to the beta program that customers need to consider before attempting this. To renew your passport online:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • This cannot be your first-ever passport. To get your first passport, you have to apply and schedule an in-person appointment with the Department of State.
  • The passport you’re renewing needs to have been issued between 2009 and 2015.
  • You must be 25 years old or older.
  • You are not changing your name, gender, date of birth or place of birth.
  • You live in the United States (either state or territory), not a foreign country, and you don’t have an Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) address.
  • You are applying for a regular (tourist) passport, not a special-issue (diplomatic, official or service) passport.
  • You can upload a digital passport photo.

When the program rolls more fully, some of the restrictions above may change, though others likely won’t (such as being a U.S. citizen). If you don’t meet these requirements, you won’t be able to move forward in the application process online.

How to renew your passport online

For the next several months, the system will open up for a limited midday window, starting at 1 p.m. ET, then close when it reaches the number of applications allowed in one day. And that window can reportedly close fast, so be ready to go when the portal opens.

If you are among the lucky ones who make it, here’s what the renewal process will entail:

  • Creating an account through MyTravelGov and starting an application.
  • Filling out the DS-82 form online and electronically signing the paperwork.
  • Submitting a passport photo that is 2-by-2-inches. It should be a clear image of you with a white background and a neutral expression on your face.
  • Paying the passport fee.
  • Mailing in your most recent passport.

Ta-da! You’re done.

How much does renewing a passport online cost?

It costs $130 to apply—which is the standard amount for a routine passport renewal at, say, the post office or other government office. Right now, the only form of available payment is a credit card.

How long does it take to get a passport that’s been renewed online?

The process takes six to eight weeks, just like a routine passport renewal in person or via mail. So if you’re looking for the fastest way to apply for a passport, this program unfortunately isn’t it. If you need your passport quickly, mail in your application with the extra $60 fee for expedited service, and you should get it in two to three weeks. There are also passport-renewal services you can find in your area that charge a heftier fee for an even faster renewal—between one and four days.

Can you use your current passport while waiting for the new one?

No. Similar to when you apply for a passport by mail, you’ll have to send your old passport to the U.S. Department of State, so don’t plan on traveling out of the country during the time you’re waiting for your renewed passport. The government will eventually send back the old passport to keep for your records, but the new one will arrive first.

When will online passport renewal be available to everyone?

It is unknown when this online system will be available to U.S. citizens outside the allotted few who are able to get access to the program right now. The Department of State says it is testing out this online program over the next “several months” and will be preparing for a full launch with an updated online passport-renewal system in the future.

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