All Americans will be able to renew passports online starting in 2023

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This is the moment Americans have been patiently waiting for: starting in 2023, all US citizens will be eligible to renew their passports online for international travel. The US government has made the decision after a successful pilot program launched this year showed that demand for a smarter, faster, digital application process is high.

American traveler with a US passport

Very soon, the long wait times we’ve seen this year for passport renewals, both due to backlogs of demand and staff shortages, could be a thing of the past, as the digitization of the procedure eliminates the need for postage. mail and/or wait until they give you an appointment at the passport agencies.

sounds like a win win for both sides, huh? Here’s everything we know so far about the future online app:

The 2022 pilot programs were a resounding success

Young couple sat on the floor of the international airport checking something on their laptop, international travel concept with full passports

Earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Americans reported problems obtaining new passports amid a spike in travel demand. As Covid restrictions fell and countries reopened for travel, long delays it affected those who were issuing their first passport or simply renewing an existing one.

This is a problem that affects the travel plans of not only Americans but also some Canadians, who booked fake flights for the authorities to give them priority in line. Even then, Canada showed no signs of easing the application or moving it online. Its closest neighbor, on the other hand, ran several small pilot programs throughout 2022.

Young American female traveler holding a case of US passports while using her computer, international travel concept

The first took place in February, applying only to federal contractors and employees. Later in August, at the height of the chaotic summer, another 25,000 citizens were given the privilege, signaling a big rollout to come. Finally, on September 17, a final pilot program was carried out, extended to those who had created a MyTravelGov account before the release date.

All three apparently worked fine, and no security issues were reported, prompting the US State Department to finally make it official: Starting in 2023, all Americans, whether they work for the government or are regular citizens, will be able to apply for passports via Internet. , from the comfort of their own homes.

Is the process going to be faster and cheaper than it was?

Young man working from computer

As noted in The New York Times, who first broke the news, the online passport renewal is a direct result of the Executive Order signed by President Biden in December 2021. At the time, it paved the way for the Department of State modernize the issuance of the document, setting the precedent for the three pilot programs that were so successful.

Once the Executive Order takes effect in its entirety, feds expect passport renewal time to be cut from 1 to 7 weeks, depending, of course, on the level of demand at each moment. Currently, Americans must wait an average of 8 to 11 weeks when applying by mail or, starting this year, much more than thateven when requesting expedited service.

Young female traveler walking through the airport while dragging her luggage behind her, air travel concept

The NY Times stated that several renovations have taken place up to 18 weeks to process, or about 4 months, seriously disrupting the travel plans of those who had waited until this year to get their hands on a shiny new passport. So far, the US government has not given a precise launch date for the online system, although should be operational in “early 2023”.

As for fees, we expect both the application fee and the “acceptance” fee to be maintained for passports. Currently, a passport book and card cost $160, while the acceptance fee for first-time applicants is usually an additional $35. On the other hand, you will be able to save some money on postage and/or travel to the nearest passport office once scanning is complete.

The future of international travel is digital

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, United States

More and more, International travel is becoming more digital. We recently reported that border officers are being replaced in several destinations with electronic gates for faster immigration, including in Europe, where Americans can already scan their way into countries like the UK, parts of France, and Italy.

Being able to renew passports online seems like a natural next step, especially at a time when countries are eagerly seeking reduce unnecessary bureaucracy relating to travel. Be that as it may, flying abroad comes with its own set of rules that must be adhered to; otherwise it could cost you your entire vacation.

Young woman checking her boarding pass inside a US passport at the airport

If you are going to fly internationally in the short term, be sure to check the validity date of your passport so that they do not prevent you from boarding. Whenever the expiration date is approaching, or you have lost or damaged your document, request a new one as soon as possible, even if you do not plan to travel in the near future.

This will help you always stay on the safe side.

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This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest news that will affect your next trip, visit: Traveloffpath.com

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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions You can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Please contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before you travel. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government recommendations

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