Can you renew a passport online? We all know how stressful applying for passport renewal can be with the documentary requirements and the waiting times.
At the start of the year, the Department of State opened the renewal portals for applicants for a while. This service is not always available, but when the portal is active, applicants can apply online, but they must follow these steps.
Activate A TravelGov Account: The first step is to open and activate a TravelGov account. You must click the activation email sent to you.
Register Account: After activating the account, wait for 24 hours, after which you will get a prompt to register the account. Follow the instructions carefully to do so.
Log In: After registering your account, wait for another 24 hours, then log into the account and click on the “Renew Passport “ button to kickstart the process. Fill out the renewal form and submit then follow the instructions. Don’t mail your documents to the agency.
It Is important to note that the online renewal portal is not always open round the clock and may be shut down without warning. So you may try your luck again next month. The Department of State is currently testing the procedure, so online applications are not yet standard practice for everyone.
How To Know If you Qualify For A Passport Renewal Online
Age of your current passport: If your current or old passport was issued when you were 25 years and older, you could apply for a renewal online.
Timeframe: If your current passport was issued nine years ago or not later than 2008, you can apply for a renewal. Passports issued more than 15 years ago cannot be renewed.
Same Name: If you have no intention of changing your name, place of birth, gender, or date of birth, you can renew your passport online.
No Travel Plans in Six Weeks: If you don’t plan to travel out of the country in the next six weeks from your application submission date, you can apply online. Standard and expedited applications will be offered to applicants.
Regular Passport: The online portal is only for regular passport renewals, not diplomatic or official passports.
If You Live In The US: To use the online portal, you must live in the US. Those living abroad cannot use the portal.
The Passport Is In Your Possession: If the current is in your possession, you can submit it for review. Damaged and mutilated passports are not accepted for renewal.
Online applicants can pay for the application fee with a credit or debit card or use an automated clearing house system to fund their bank account to pay the fee.
Uploading Your Documents
Your passport photo can be uploaded in JPEG format, but you don’t have to upload the bio page of your current passport. Once you fill out the application form and submit bear in mind that your current passport will be invalidated automatically, and you will never be able to use it again for international travel.
Other Renewal Options
What if you are not able to renew your passport online? What other options do you have?
Visit The Passport Agency: You can apply for another passport if you visit a passport agency in your city. Simply book an appointment with the agency and appear on the appointed day with all your documents. The official on duty will review them and receive them on behalf of the State Department.
Visit The Embassy: If you live abroad, you should book an appointment with the US embassy in your country. The officials at the embassy will review your documents and walk you through the process of obtaining a new passport.
By Mail: The third option is to package your documents and mail them using USPS to the passport agency. If you live outside the US, you can use any other courier service. You will need to purchase a two-way postage stamp to deliver your documents and have your passport delivered on the due date.
It takes 6-8 weeks to get your new US passport, but it may take longer in special cases. If you are on a strict timeline and need to urgently apply for a visa or travel in the next few days or within two weeks, you may apply for expedited service. To avail of this service, you must visit the y passport facility in person to explain why you need the passport urgently. If the officials are satisfied with your explanation, they will expedite the process, so you will get the passport in a couple of days.
Better still, you can apply for VisaHQ passport service to help you organize your documents and submit them to the relevant agency.