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You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.

By Emily Rella Edited by Melissa Malamut

If you've ever planned an international trip only to realize that your passport was expired, you know the agony of getting it renewed in person.

But now there's good news. On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department launched a beta program that offers U.S. citizens the option to renew their passports online.

Related: Rich Americans Getting Secondary Passports in Record Numbers

"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.

The government will begin allowing a small number of people to apply to the online portal each day with plans to slowly ramp up the daily number as the system works itself out.

Not everyone is eligible to apply, however.

To try the system, hopeful applicants must be at least 25 years old and have a U.S. passport issued between 2009 and 2015. The passport must also have been valid for at least 10 years. Applicants also can't have any international travel planned for at least eight weeks from when their application is submitted.

Expedited online service will not be available.

Related: Teen Booted From Flight Over 1-Centimeter Tear in Passport

The beta program is expected to run during the "coming months" with no specific timeline. State officials noted that once a new application is submitted, the person's current passport will be deemed invalid.

As the system currently stands, the average wait time to renew a U.S. passport is between six and eight weeks, or two to three weeks for those paying extra for expedited service.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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