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Before Booking Those Travel Plans, Let’s Discuss: How Much Does a Passport Cost?

Before Booking Those Travel Plans, Let’s Discuss: How Much Does a Passport Cost? –

Passport Prices: Navigating the Costs of International Travel

As the world reopens and travel demand surges, it’s crucial to ensure your passport is up-to-date before booking that dream vacation. With inflation affecting various aspects of our lives, one question on many travelers’ minds is: How much does a passport cost in 2024?

Passport Fees: Breaking Down the Costs

According to travel specialist Patricia Wittenberg, the current United States passport fees in 2024 are as follows:

First-Time Passport Costs:

  • First Time Adult Passport Book: $130 application fee, $35 execution fee
  • First Time Adult Passport Card: $30 application fee, $35 execution fee
  • First Time Adult Passport Book & Card: $160 application fee, $35 execution fee
  • First Time Adult Passport Card (currently have a valid passport book): $30 application fee, no executive fee

Passport Renewal Costs:

  • Renewal Adult Passport Book: $130 application fee
  • Renewal Adult Passport Card: $30 application fee
  • Renewal Adult Passport Book & Card: $160 application fee

Child Passport Costs (Under 16):

  • First Time Minor Passport Book: $100 application fee, $35 execution fee
  • First Time Minor Passport Card: $15 application fee, $35 execution fee
  • First Time Minor Passport Book & Card: $115 application fee, $35 execution fee

Additional Passport Fees:

  • Optional Expedite Fee: $60 per application
  • Optional 1-2 Day Delivery Fee: $19.53 (not valid for passport cards)
  • File Search Fee: $150 (necessary when the applicant is unable to present evidence of U.S. citizenship and must be requested by Forms DS-11)

“The passport application fee and execution fee are non-refundable. Both fees are collected and retained by law even if a passport is not issued. However, note that you may be able to request a refund of the $60 Expedite Fee in the event the expedited service was not received,” Wittenberg explains.

Passport Prices and Inflation

As with many aspects of our lives, inflation has also impacted the cost of passports. Passport prices increased by $20 per person at the end of 2021, and in 2023, the execution fee for a first-time adult passport book went from $30 to $35. Additionally, the optional 1-2 day delivery fee increased slightly from $18.32 to $19.53.

Passport Processing Times: Expect Delays

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, passport processing times have been a concern for many travelers. As of December 2023, the U.S. Department of State reported that routine processing is expected to take 6-8 weeks, while expedited processing is expected to take 2-3 weeks.

“Although passport services had been delayed due to COVID-19, time frames seem to be improving and it’s possible you may receive your passports before the listed time frame,” Wittenberg adds. “If you are traveling in the near future, it is important to plan for the worst-case scenario.”

Expediting Your Passport: Options and Fees

For those in a rush, there are a few options to expedite your passport. You can pay the Expedite Fee, which is an additional $60 per application. Alternatively, you can make an appointment to apply for an Urgent Passport, which requires proof of international travel within the next 14 days.

In the case of a life or death emergency, you can apply for a Life or Death Emergency Passport within 72 hours, but you’ll need to provide proof of the emergency and international travel.

“For an appointment, the number to call is 1-877-487-2778 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. They are closed on weekends and federal holidays. You may be eligible to apply in person at a passport agency if you are traveling soon. Visit Get My Passport Fast to see if you qualify,” Wittenberg advises.

What You Need to Get a Passport

To obtain a passport, you’ll need to submit the following:

  • Completed application Form DS-11 (for first-time applicants) or DS-82 (for renewals)
  • Proof of citizenship, such as a valid U.S. passport, birth certificate, or certificate of naturalization
  • Photocopy of a valid ID, such as a driver’s license or military ID
    Two recent passport-style photos
  • Applicable fees, which can be paid by check, money order, or credit card

“Most people can apply for or renew their U.S. passport online, but you must apply in person if at least one of the following is true: you are applying for your first U.S. passport, you are under the age of 16, your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under the age of 16, your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged, or your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago,” Wittenberg explains.

Passport Validity: Understanding the Expiration Dates

The length of a passport’s validity depends on the age of the passport holder. If you were 16 or older when your passport was issued, it is valid for 10 years. If you were under 16, your passport is valid for five years.

“It is important to note that most countries require that a traveler’s U.S. passport be valid for another six months after their final day of international travel,” Wittenberg adds. “You should plan to renew your passport when you get within one year of the expiration date.”

Passport Cards: Domestic Use Only

It’s worth noting that a passport card is a separate entity from a passport book and cannot be used for the same purposes while traveling. According to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepts the passport card as ID for domestic flights only, with a few exceptions.

“No, a passport card cannot be used for international air travel,” Wittenberg states. “A passport card may be used for domestic air travel or entering the United States at the land border crossings and sea ports of entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.”

“The passport application and renewal process can be complex, but it’s crucial to ensure your travel documents are in order before booking any international trips,” Wittenberg emphasizes. “By understanding the current passport costs and requirements, you can plan your travels with confidence and avoid any unexpected delays or complications.”

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