Canadians will be able to apply to renew their passports online starting this fall, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said Wednesday (May 10).
The update was shared at an event that was dedicated to unveiling a new design for Canada's passport, which will include enhanced security features and colourful new pages, according to the Canadian Press.
Canadians will be able to upload their necessary documents and passport photo on a secure government website, the minister said.
People who are applying for new passports, including children, will still need to go the traditional route with Service Canada.
The digital option is the result of lessons learned last year when Service Canada was overwhelmed with passport applications, which led to long lines and wait times.
In March, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould announced that Canada’s passport backlog was “completely eliminated.”
A surge in passport renewals is expected over the next year as the first group of 10-year passports issued in 2013 are set to expire.
Ottawa unrolled new procedures during COVID to tackle its backlog, such as triage measures in big cities to better manage crowds and lineups, as well as expanding passport pick-up sites in more communities.
Service Canada says it also doubled its number of employees to speed up processing times.