The price for all passport books in the United States increased by $20 beginning Monday, per a late-December announcement from the State Department.
“On Dec 27, the cost for a passport book will increase by $20,” the agency wrote in a statement on social media. “The increased fee is necessary to ensure we continue to produce one of the most secure travel and identity documents in the world.”
The price change impacts all passport books, but not passport cards, the latter of which allows an individual to travel “by land and by sea” to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Passport cards are not valid for international air travel.
Passport applications require two separate payments: The application fee application fee goes to the Department of State, while a separate execution or acceptance fee is paid directly to an acceptance facility.
The acceptance fee will remain unchanged at $35, but application fees – which vary by age and type of passport book – go up by $20 across the board.
Adults applying for a first-time passport book or a renewal passport will now pay $130 to the State Department, up from $110; the cost for new and renewed passport books for minors under 16 is now $100 as opposed to $80.
All children under the age of 16 must apply for a passport in-person with two parents or guardians.
The overall price an individual might pay to renew or get a new passport will also vary based on how fast a turnaround is desired, as expedited processing costs an additional $60.
Processing times begin when a passport agency has received an application, not the date on which an application is shipped. The increased passport fees, however, apply to the date an application was shipped, not when it is received by a processing center.
In a statement to Spectrum News, a State Department spokesperson said the increase is "driven by increased costs in the aspects of passport application processing that support enhanced border security, including secure book and card materials, passport printers, and compensation associated with passport adjudication, including fraud prevention."
The price hike will "cover increased security-related costs," the spokesperson added, one of which is the Next Generation Passport (NGP). The NGP contains new security features like a polycarbonate data page, new artwork and ink colors and a perforated alphanumeric passport number printed throughout the book.
To date, the State Department has issued around 1.5 million NGPs since its rollout in March, with plans to offer the modernized passport nationwide by August 2022.