You Can Now Renew Your Passport Online

A United States Passport sits on a table
A United States Passport sits on a table prior to being renewed at a United States Embassy Outreach event at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 22, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Gilmore)

Jim Absher is a benefits columnist for

The government has announced that Americans soon will be able to renew their passports online.

Beginning Dec. 23, 2021, Americans will be able to renew their tourist passports using a new online pilot program that the government plans to roll out fully during 2022.

According to a press release from the Department of Defense posted on Dec. 21, federal government employees, military members and their family members will be able to use the online renewal system before it is released to the general public.

The move comes in response to an executive order issued by President Joe Biden on Dec. 13, 2021, directing the State Department to "design and deliver a new online passport renewal experience that does not require any physical documents to be mailed."

Previously, renewing one's passport required a trip to a government office, surrendering the old passport and submitting payment via check or money order. Travelers also had to find a place to have a passport photo taken as well.

Requirements for Renewing Passports Online

Currently, only citizens in the following groups may renew their passports online:

  • Those 16 years and older
  • Citizens living in the U.S. only, no foreign addresses
  • Those with no changes to their name, gender or other personal information

Those using the online renewal system can have an expired passport, but it must not be more than 15 years old.

Only tourist passports can be issued using the new online system; diplomatic or official passports cannot be renewed online. Passport cards for travel to Canada or Mexico are currently not available for online renewal.

Since the online renewal system is in the pilot stages, the State Department says that routine processing should take eight to 11 weeks, and expedited processing, which is available for a premium price, should take five to seven weeks. No international travel should be scheduled within three weeks of the renewal date.

Currently, the price to renew a passport is $130; an expedited passport requires an additional $60 fee.

Those renewing online will be able to pay using a credit or debit card, or direct transfer from their bank account. They also can submit a passport photo online with their renewal application.

Those interested in using the online renewal system at this time will need to pre-register.

"Americans will be able to renew their passports securely online, saving time from having to wait and the effort and cost required to print, go to a post office and use a paper check," according to a White House statement. "This new online process will be done with safety and security."

To renew your passport, check out the State Department's website.

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