United States citizens will soon be able to enjoy convenient online passport renewal, making for a much faster turnaround time, according to Forbes. On Monday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order focused on increasing digital accessibility for various government services.
The administration is in the process of upgrading the USA.gov website, and it will soon function as a one-stop shop providing easier and more convenient access to many government programs and services, including passport renewals.
The executive order affects services offered by 17 different federal agencies, including the IRS and the Social Security Administration. In addition to making passport renewal easier and faster, it will also make navigating airport security less of a hassle.
So far this year alone, more than 15.4 million Americans were issued passports, according to the State Department. Currently, renewing a U.S. passport can only be done in person or by mail. Beginning this month, however, a limited number of Americans will be able to take advantage of online passport renewal. Over the next few months and beyond, more and more people will be able to do so.
The current turnaround time for a standard passport renewal is up to 11 weeks; seven for an expedited renewal. These are long wait times, in contrast to the pre-pandemic norm of six to wight weeks for a standard renewal and as little as two weeks for an expedited renewal.
According to the executive order, “Government must be held accountable for designing and delivering services with a focus on the actual experience of the people whom it is meant to serve. We must use technology to modernize government and implement services that are simple to use, accessible, equitable, protective, transparent, and responsive for all people of the United States.”
“Every interaction between the federal government and the public, whether it involves renewing a passport or calling for a status update on a farm loan application, 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.”