Online passport renewal pilot program reopens temporarily
The State Department has temporarily reopened a pilot program that allows people to renew their passports online, speeding up the renewal process.
The department announced on Tuesday that it is reopening the program for a limited time after it reached its monthly goal for the number of volunteers to test it last month. The program is expected to be fully launched early next year.
The program should significantly reduce wait times and lines for people seeking to renew their passports after it is implemented broadly.
The department offered the program to update passports for 25,000 people in August, and the limit on enrollment was reached in 10 days.
The department set a certain list of requirements for those interested in participating in the pilot program. Participants must be at least 25 years old, their passport needs to be between 9 and 15 years old and they must have a passport that was or is valid for at least 10 years.
Those enrolled can upload a digital photo to use for the new passport.
Processing times for online requests will be the same amount of time as renewals done by mail. Processing should take seven to 10 weeks for routine requests and four to six weeks for expedited requests.
The program will reopen again in November.
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