Passport Renewals Will Soon Be Done Electronically

by SharonKurheg

For whatever reason or reasons, whether you’re getting a new passport, or renewing an expiring one, it currently takes practically FOREVER. Wait times have been so long that the State Department recently made changes on their website to make the wait times appear almost 2 months shorter…even though they’re really not.

Meanwhile, the processing time is roughly 8 to 11 weeks, plus several weeks for mailing on both ends of the process. Compared to the past, that’s a LONG time. But there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

On Monday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order regarding Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government. The plan is to bring important government agencies into the digital era while simultaneously decreasing the red tape for a bunch of services, including passport renewals.

{{{THUD}}} (that’s me, fainting away, LOLOL!), is, of course, the official site for federal government services. They’re planning on revamping and revising it as a so-called “digital federal front door.” The goal is to make the site something of a “one stop shop” to improve access to the government services and programs that are the most sought-after, to make them, well, let’s face it, less painful.

As per a White House “fact sheet,” among the 30-something other planned changes, “Americans will be able to renew their passports securely online, saving time from having to wait and the effort and cost required to print, go to a post office, and use a paper check.”

“As we ask the government to do more, we can ensure the government does it better,” Neera Tanden, a senior White House adviser, told reporters Monday morning. She added that “we looked at the points of greatest friction for people with their government.”

YESSSSSSSS! I mean, let’s face it, right now, renewing your passport requires filling out an application by hand, submitting your most recent passport, including name change documents, providing a hard copy of a photo, writing a check, and mailing everything with your application. Worse yet. if you’re under 16, or your last passport was issued when you were under that age, or your current passport was stolen, lost or damaged, or issued more than 15 years ago, you have to apply in person. Removing the post office from half of the process (that on the front end) would automatically decrease wait times. And if other parts of the process are electronic instead of manual? It’s GOT to be faster.

No timetable has been given for all of the planned changes, however as per Tanden, a limited number of Americans will be able to renew their passports online starting this month. Those numbers are expected to dramatically expand over the coming months.

So yeah…fingers crossed. Every little bit counts, right?

Feature Photo: Pixabay

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