The Department of State is inviting Federal employees and contractors to renew their passports online before the agency opens that new capability to the public later in 2022.
The portal will allow users to renew their passports online, saving them from the long lines at their local passport or post offices. The department is testing out the new online portal with a limited audience before launching it to the public.
The pilot program, in which Federal employees and contractors will be able to test the online passport portal’s renewal capability, will run through June 30.
The State Department originally expected the online passport renewal portal to launch in March 2016, but due to a surge in passport applications the department delayed the launch, according to a recent report by the State Department Inspector General. President Biden directed the agency to launch an online passport renewal portal “that does not require any physical documents to be mailed,” as part of the executive order on transforming Federal customer experience he signed in December 2021.
According to the pre-registration page, the State Department is directing Federal employees and contractors to create a MyTravelGov account to pre-register online. The agency noted that users will need to wait up to two weeks before they’re able to renew their passports online.
In exchange for early access to the portal, the State Department is asking Federal employees and contractors to provide feedback about their experience, so the agency can improve and refine the online renewal application.
The online form outlines several criteria Federal employees or contractors must meet before pre-registering for the service; including:
- Participants must have their passports with them and in good condition; the agency said it won’t accept “damaged or mutilated passports.”
- Eligible participants must not be traveling internationally three weeks out from the date they renew online.
- Eligible Feds must renew a passport that was issued at least nine years ago, but no later than 15 years ago. Passports that meet these criteria should have been issued between 2007 and 2013.
- Pilot participants can only renew a regular tourist passport, not a “special issuance” diplomatic or official passport.
- Applicants must live in the United States, and cannot be stationed at an overseas post in a foreign country or have an APO/FPO address.