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Beta testing begins for new online U.S. passport renewal process

The U.S. State Department Wednesday rolled out a beta test of a new online passport renewal system.It will be available beginning at 1 p.m. each day for a limited duration during weekdays and weekends. Photo courtesy of the State Department
The U.S. State Department Wednesday rolled out a beta test of a new online passport renewal system.It will be available beginning at 1 p.m. each day for a limited duration during weekdays and weekends. Photo courtesy of the State Department

June 12 (UPI) -- The State Department on Wednesday rolled out a limited beta release of an online passport renewal system. Over the next several months it will allow online renewals during limited time windows each day.

"During the next several months, we plan to continue to limit the number of applications accepted each day so we can monitor the system's performance in real time," the State Department said in a statement. "This beta release during which we are limiting the daily applications is an important and standard part of the software development process. "

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During this beta testing period, eligible U.S. citizens can renew passports online. But they may not be able to start their application on the day of choice, since the system will close each day after it reaches pre-set limits.

The system will be available beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern each day, including weekends.

Processing times for online renewals are estimated to take 6-8 weeks.

"The goal of online passport renewal is to save Americans time and effort, making it more convenient to renew their U.S. passports," a senior State Department official told ABC News.

Previous testing rounds for this online system processed 565,000 applications.

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President Joe Biden first announced in 2021 that the online renewal process was being created.

There's still strong demand for passports, but according to the State Department there are no significant delays in processing this year and demand is being met.

At the peak of waiting times last summer, it was taking over three months to get passports. The department blamed that on a combination of pandemic application backlogs, along with staffing and resource shortages.

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