Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: U.S. Passport Renewal Is Coming Online

Following the success of a limited pilot program for online passport renewal this summer, the U.S. State Department says it plans to fully launch an online passport renewal option for the general public in early 2023. The shift, which for many will eliminate the need for piles of paperwork and hours spent waiting in line at passport offices, is meant to offer relief after the pandemic created two years of extensive delays and backlogs for passport seekers. The online renewal option was created following a December 2021 executive order from President Joe Biden, who demanded the federal government “design and deliver services in a manner that people of all abilities can navigate.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/travel/online-passport-renewal.html) An initial pilot program was launched in February for federal government employees and contractors. After that closed, a second program opened Aug. 2 for 25,000 members of the public; it closed to applicants on Aug. 12. State Department officials say they plan to initiate a third pilot program for a limited number of applicants later in September, and while they don’t yet have a specific date for launching the system for all Americans, they say they intend to do so by early 2023.

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