Dan at Dan’s Deals reports on his experience renewing his passport online and it’s worth a look. If you’ve ever renewed a passport, you know that it can be an odyssey of several weeks or even months depending on processing times and whether or not you pony up for express processing, but Dan reports that he renewed online and got his new passport in just over one week. This is a great tip to keep in mind for renewal time. Note that this program isn’t yet available to the general public, but there is an interest form you can fill out to be part of the beta test (I don’t know whether they are still accepting submissionsf they k for that).
Dan’s post caught my eye because child passports are only good for five years and my older son is 4 years old, so I thought that this may become relevant for me in the not-so-distant future until I got to the sentence where Dan said he wished that kid’s passports could also be renewed online. So much for the time savings there.
Only passports expiring within a year can be renewed online, but one cool thing is that you don’t need to send in your old passport. No holes and no being without a passport during the renewal period (though it isn’t clear whether the old one loses validity at some point during the renewal process). You can read more about the details in this previous Dan’s Deals post.
I have personally run down to the wire on this once or twice before. At my last renewal, I had to drive 3hrs to New York City to renew in-person (same-day service is possible if you have a near-term international trip and I did). When I renewed, I needed to be at the office by noon to get service the same day and I got to the window with minutes to spare. Now that happens on an appointment basis.
If you are interested in online renewal, it is worth reading both Dan’s Deals posts linked above and getting your name on the interest list (note that the interest list sign-up page indicates that it may be several weeks before you become eligible to renew online; the one-week turnaround time was between when Dan submitted for his renewal and when he received his new passport, but he had gotten on the interest list late last year).