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You may soon be able to renew your passport online, instead of sending in documents

A new executive order from President Biden calls on the State Department to create a system where passports can be renewed online.
Jenny Kane
/
AP
A new executive order from President Biden calls on the State Department to create a system where passports can be renewed online.

Renewing your passport isn't an experience most people would consider streamlined — especially during the pandemic. Getting it processed can take anywhere from eight to 11 weeks, according to the State Department.

But a new executive order from President Biden hopes to cut down on the amount of time people spend accessing all kinds of government services, like scheduling a callback time with the IRS, applying for Social Security and Medicare benefits online, and yes, renewing a passport.

One of the points in a new executive order signed on Monday calls on the secretary of state to create a system through which people can renew their passports online, without having to mail in any physical documents.

"Every interaction between the Federal Government and the public ... should be seen as an opportunity for the Government to save an individual's time (and thus reduce "time taxes") and to deliver the level of service that the public expects and deserves," the executive order says.

The White House says the move to streamline the passport renewal process could impact the more than 2 million passengers who come through U.S. airports each day, and help cut down on the time, effort and money it takes to print documents, mail them from a post office and pay using a paper check.

While no further details about the new system have been outlined, the White House says the "new online process will be done with safety and security."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Deepa Shivaram
Deepa Shivaram is a multi-platform political reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.
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