Ready to renew your U.S. passport? You can now apply online

FILE - The cover of a U.S. Passport is displayed in Tigard, Ore., Dec. 11, 2021. The State Department has opened a trial run allowing a limited number of people to apply to renew their passports online. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s an easier way to renew your passport — online. The State Department has opened a trial run allowing a limited number of people to apply for their updated travel documents with a few clicks. You can’t just start anytime — windows will open at midday Eastern time each day and then close once the system has reached its daily limit.

The department says it’s taking it slow so it can monitor how the system is working. There are also a series of requirements to meet to be able to apply online, including:

— You’re 25 or older.

— You’re renewing a passport issued between 2009 and 2015.

— You aren’t changing any personal information.

— You won’t travel overseas for at least eight weeks after you apply.

There are plenty of other criteria on the State Department’s travel website, where you have to create an account to renew online. Expedited service still has to be done by mail.

It comes after travelers faced massive wait times to renew their documents amid a backlog blamed on lingering pandemic effects like staffing shortages and a pause in online processing last year that flooded the agency with applications.

Current processing time for a routine passport renewal is six to eight weeks.