Renewing a U.S. passport is a long process. Here’s the good news: the government is embracing advances in technology and will soon allow citizens to update their passport online.

“Our new online system will save Americans money, time and effort, making it much more convenient to renew their passports,” a spokesperson for the State Department told SmarterTravel.

In summer 2022, a pilot program allowed more than 500,000 Americans to trial the online passport renewal system, reports the State Department. The pilot program was put on hold in March, but the “enhanced application” process will be accessible nationwide later this year.

Until the online system is officially launched, passports can still be renewed by mail if you are eligible.

Who can renew a passport online?

Online passport renewal is not available to everyone. Here are the qualifications to renew a passport online (once the system is open to the public), according to the Department of State.

  1. You are at least 25 years old and your passport is/was valid for 10 years.
  2. Your most recent passport was issued over nine years ago but less than 15 years ago.
  3. Your passport is not expired.
  4. You are not changing your name, date of birth or place of birth.
  5. You live in the United States (either state or territory).
  6. Your passport is not lost, stolen or damaged.
  7. You are not traveling internationally for at least 11 weeks from the date you submit your application.

How much does it cost to renew a passport online?

When renewing a passport online, you still must pay all passport fees. Renewing a passport costs between $30 (passport card) and $160 (passport book and card), per the State Department.

Renewing a passport online might be a cheaper option. Unlike the mail-in process, applicants can pay fees with a credit card. There are also no postage or tracking fees when applying online.

How do I submit an online passport application?

In order to submit an online application for passport renewal, applicants must create a MyTravelGov account. Before you can begin the process, your account must get verified. Verification can take up to 24 hours.

Once an applicant’s MyTravelGov account is verified, the renew process is done through the account.

What is the difference between a passport card and a passport book?

One of the main differences between a passport book and card is price. A passport book cost $130, the card is $30. The same forms are used for both book and card applications.

Another key difference is that passport cards cannot be used for international air travel. Passport cards are used at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and Caribbean countries, per the State Department.