By Kate R.
The U.S. Department of State Consular Affairs (CA) division’s public-facing systems service approximately 34 million routine applicants per year for various passport and visa requests. This is a 24/7/365 operation processing approximately 120,000 cases per day. Before the implementation of the Online Passport Renewal (OPR) capability, the turnaround time for a standard passport renewal could take up to 11 weeks, according to the U.S. State Department.
Additionally, requesting a passport renewal involves significant effort on the part of American citizens in that they incur additional costs and spend time to print, travel to a post office, and use a paper check to renew their passports.
OPR is a Priority for the Current Administration
On December 13th, the White House issued the following briefing:
“As the United States faces critical challenges, including recovering from a global pandemic, promoting prosperity and economic growth, advancing equity, and tackling the climate crisis, the needs of the people of the United States, informed by, in particular, an understanding of how they experience Government, should drive priorities for service delivery improvements…”
“The Federal Government must design and deliver services in a manner that people of all abilities can navigate. 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…”
The ActioNet team is actively supporting the U.S. State Department in launching this long-awaited capability that will allow Americans to renew their passports online in a significantly reduced timeframe. Our team is comprised of Service-Oriented Architecture engineers, Software Developers and Oracle Database Engineers and Administrators, among others, who utilized the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to include the development of strategic themes, portfolio vision and value streams with a continuous delivery pipeline and release on demand.
The OPR Solution is Showing Promising Early Results
The Online Passport Renewal project includes a front-end customer-facing solution that uses the ConsularOne self-service portal as well as a back-end solution for adjudicating the customer’s request for a passport.
This modernized solution gives U.S. citizens who already have U.S. passports the option to renew their passports online as opposed to using the existing mail-in procedure, third party online services, or visiting a passport office/annex in person. This new service also provides enhanced capabilities such as:
- Paperless data and fee submission with electronic signature
- Projected arrival of the new passport information, and,
- Optional status updates online by text or email.
Early results of the testing are extremely encouraging. Initial tests are showing passport renewal applications taking less than 72 hours from the time of application completion to being delivered to the end user – down from as much as 11 weeks that the process could take to receive a renewal passport book and/or card!
OPR to Launch in Fall of 2022
ActioNet proudly provided direct support for this initiative by supporting the development of this service-oriented, modular, and component-based enterprise system. The Online Passport Renewal service will dramatically decrease the amount of time, expense, and effort it currently takes to renew your passport and is a great example of how our Government works for the American people. We are excited to see its full launch in the Fall of 2022!
Read below for additional details as covered in a sampling from leading publications:
- Conde Nast: “Americans Will Soon Be Able to Renew Passports Online”
- Federal News Network: “State Dept expects long-awaited online passport renewal system to launch by fall 2022”
- Washington Post: “Americans can soon renew passports online, thanks to Biden order”