There’s a New Passport Renewal Program
The service will go live in December, and once it does, you’ll be able to renew your passport online if you meet three requirements. This is for US Passports only.
To be able to do your passport renewal online, you need three things: you have a valid passport that’s undamaged and has at least six months left on its expiration date, your name on the new passport needs to be exactly the same as it is on your current, valid passport; and your photo in your application matches the one in your existing passport.
There was a pilot program in August that closed when it hit 25k applications on August 12.
A new batch is open at MyTravelGov for September. Go here to sign up.
The full program is set to go live in either December 2023 or January of 2023.
Processing Times for Passport Renewals Have Always Sucked
We all know what a pain in the ass renewing your passport has been historically. It involved having to get a passport photo that wasn’t easy to get, filling out a form and mail your application in through the post office. Wait times were about 2-3 months.
The other butthole was you had to send them your current passport. While you’re waiting for your new passport book, you can’t do any kind of travel. Then you sit there and wait anywhere from 6-8 weeks to get it back.
Expedited costs an extra $60 through the post office but does it really speed things up? They say 5-7 weeks. Wow!
You have no way to check the status of your passport book. You cannot tell when they receive your application.
Now add Covid in there. It only got worse for the last 2 years.
You could renew your passport outside the US a lot easier as we covered in an earlier article.
You could get expedited service with a passport agency and pay around $500 and get your passport in a week or two.
The process just wasn’t well organized. It looks like this might be about to change.