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What's The Deal: Passport renewal backlog may soon be eased

After a successful pilot program, authorities are set to begin receiving online applications for renewing passports.

INDIANAPOLIS — In What's the Deal consumer headlines, mortgage rates are rising, and the passport renewal process is about to get easier.

Passport renewal process being streamlined

It could soon become easier to renew your passport.

The U.S. Department of State says it plans to start taking applications online.

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The move comes after a successful pilot program was launched to help with the pandemic backlog.

Some won't be able to take advantage of the online service. That includes people under the age of 16 and those applying for a passport for the first time.

The new system is expected to launch early next year.

FAA denies Republic's license change proposal

Indianapolis-based airline Republic Airways just got a "nope" from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The airline asked to allow pilots who go through a special training to start flying on a restricted license after 750 hours. That's half of what's usually required.

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The reason for the request is an ongoing pilot shortage. 

The FAA said the program "does not provide an equivalent level of safety."

Mortgage applications decline

Mortgage applications are down one-third from the same time last year. 

Skyrocketing costs could be at least partly to blame.

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage today is about 6.33%, that's about double from last year.

It's the first time rates have hit 6% since 2008. 

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