If you’re planning to apply for a new passport, you should plan to do it before April 2nd. That’s when the U.S. Department of State will increase the execution fee for all newly issued passports. Prices will go from $25 to $35 beginning April 2nd for anyone who is applying for a passport for the first time or for anyone that’s applying in person (even if they’ve been issued a passport before). The execution fee isn’t the same as the actual passport fee. The passport fee will remain at $110 for adults. Passport cards will remain at $30, and people who already have cards or actual passports won’t be affected by the price increase, just as long as they’re able to renew by mail.
According to the State Department, the cost of processing passport applications has increased, and that’s the reason the execution fee is being raised for applicants. The $10 increase is meant to offset the costs that have been incurred by the State Department and the U.S. Postal Service over the past nine years.
The State Department also included some useful information in the announcement that mainly highlighted the increased fees. That information concerns where people can actually get their passports. For most folks, the post office is the logical place to go, but there are actually many other locations that can process the paperwork. In fact, according to the State Department, there are actually 7,400 additional locations that can process passports. Most of those additional locations include state and local government officials, including Department of State officials, who handle about 10 percent of all passport applications. Another convenient option for many people is to attend a travel industry event. One such event is the Los Angeles Travel Show. At this show, “Hilton” hotels is sponsoring an event where people can meet with State Department officials to ask questions and apply for passports in person.
The increase in price isn’t exactly anything new, and the good news is that decreases in fees aren’t that uncommon either (in 2008, the State Department lowered fees from $30 to $25). However, if you’re able to apply for your passport before April 2nd, go for it. A penny saved is a penny earned!