President Joe Biden just signed a new Executive Order into law on Monday, December 13th. Among the objectives listed in the order is that the State Department will create a safe and secure online portal that Americans can use to renew their passports.
Currently, passport renewal services must be done in-person or via the mail and can take between 8 and 11 weeks. However, according to Travel Pulse, the new online renewals will only take 5-7 weeks.
According to the official declaration from the White House:
The Secretary of State shall design and deliver a new online passport renewal experience that does not require any physical documents to be mailed
In addition to the new passport renewal service, the Executive Order also makes numerous commitments to modernize and humanize the travel sector. In fact, the entire order is about rebuilding trust in the government, while also modernizing America to keep up with Europe and Asia.
The purpose of the Executive Order states, “Our Government must recommit to being “of the people, by the people, [and] for the people” in order to solve the complex 21st century challenges our Nation faces. Government must be held accountable for designing and delivering services with a focus on the actual experience of the people whom it is meant to serve.”
Included in the many commitments pledged within the order is also the promise to modernize airport security and screening, creating a quicker and smoother transit experience, as well as better communication with the TSA, including online chat and online customer feedback.
While a timeline hasn’t yet been given as to when all of this will take effect, the Daily Beast reports that “The White House hopes to implement most of the order in 17 different federal agencies by next year.”
For those who need to renew their passports in the meantime, it’s important to remember that it can take up to 11 weeks to process, and some cities are still not doing in-person appointments and require the mail-in option, so you’ll need to call or check online to see what the process looks like in your local area.