You Soon Will Be Able to Renew Your Passport Online, Get Through TSA Quickly

President Biden's new executive order is a breath of fresh air for travelers

Woman typing on keyboard by passport
Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Renewing your passport is about to get a lot easier.

In an effort to improve the "government's service delivery" to the American people, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday that will boost customer experience across 17 federal agencies, including the Transport Security Administration (TSA).

According to a White House statement, one of the "customer service improvement commitments" will allow travelers to renew their passports online safely and securely, 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," said the White House.

Up until now, U.S. travelers could renew their passports by mail, which typically take eight to 11 weeks to process. Those who pay $60 for expedited service, however, can get their renewal application processed in five to seven weeks, and for an additional fee, have their passport delivered in one to two days. Alternatively, Americans who have emergency or urgent travel can renew their passport in 72 hours by making an in-person appointment at a Regional Passport Agency.

The White House has not yet announced how long it will take to process online renewal applications, or whether there will be a cost added onto the standard renewal fee.

In addition to quicker renewal times, the Biden-Harris Administration says the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) will test new security machines, computers with advanced screening features, and other technologies at U.S. airports to speed up wait times at security.

Travelers with "urgent, time-sensitive questions or concerns" will also be able to connect with TSA more easily through the introduction of "additional channels of communication," including an online chat feature. The White House reported that the Secretary of DHS will work to give travelers opportunities to provide customer feedback and improve communication during additional screenings at airport security, too.

While no specific timeline has been given as to when the new order will go into effect, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during Monday's press briefing that it will take somewhere between six to 12 months to implement.

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