Biden signs executive order to allow online passport renewals

Dec 14, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If you’ve ever had to renew your passport, you know it can be a hassle. The COVID-19 pandemic complicated renewing your passport, but it was notoriously difficult even before 2020.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

You typically had to remember when your renewal date was coming up, then drop your passport off at the post office or put it in the mail (which could be problematic if you had travel coming up) and then wait weeks — or sometimes months — for your new passport to arrive.

But now, the White House is making it significantly easier to renew your passport. Biden, on Dec. 13, signed an executive order to direct the State Department to design and deliver a new online passport renewal experience that doesn’t require any physical documents to be mailed.

“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,” according to a White House statement. “This new online process will be done with safety and security.”

Neither the executive order nor the fact sheet specified when the policy would go into effect, but travelers will rejoice when it does. Currently, there are three processing methods for renewing a passport, and they vary in cost and turnaround time.

The cheapest is the free Standard method, which takes eight to 11 weeks, while the Expedited method costs $60 and takes five to seven weeks. You can also pay extra for one- to two-day delivery. The quickest method — Expedited at Agency Processing — also has the most hoops to jump through. This method costs $60, but you must have travel planned in the next 72 hours (or three business days) to apply at an agency or center, and there are limited appointments available.

Note the State Department says processing times begin the day it receives your application at a passport agency or center — not the day you mail your application or apply.

If you’re wondering when to renew your passport, the State Department website has a handy calculator to help you figure out your passport renewal options and cost. Generally, you should aim to renew it at least six months before it expires, especially if you have travel coming up to countries that require six months of validity.

Your passport is valid for 10 years if you were 16 or older when it was issued and five years if you were under 16 when it was issued. That means if your passport was issued in September 2012 and you were at least 16 years old, you should aim to renew your passport in March 2022.

Featured photo by Evgenia Parajanian/Shutterstock.com

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.