5 Reasons to Feel Good about the Raise in Passport Agency Fees

U.S. PassportThe fees to apply for a new U.S. Passport Book or U.S. Passport Card as well as the fees to renew your current U.S. Passport Book or Passport Card are going up as of Tuesday July 13, 2010.  We know what you’re thinking, not another raise in fees!  Unfortunately, yes that is exactly what is happening with the U.S. Passport Agency, but with good reason.  Here’s a breakdown of the new fees along with some reasons not to sweat the extra bucks!

First time Adult U.S. Passport Book:  $110 (payable to Department of State) + $25 (payable to Acceptance Facility)

First time Adult U.S. Passport Card:  $30 (payable to Department of State) + $25 (payable to Acceptance Facility)

Renewal of Adult U.S. Passport Book (DS82 Form):  $110 (payable to Department of State)

Renewal of Adult U.S. Passport Card (DS82 Form):  $30 (payable to Department of State)

Expedite Processing Fee (added to the above mentioned fees if you need your Passport in a rush): $60

1. Fees cover more than the cost of your new Passport Book or Passport Card:

Believe it or not the fees are also used to cover the costs of providing emergency services for American citizens who have been the victims of crime (or a crisis; such as an earthquake) while traveling or living abroad as well as providing support to the families of American citizens who have died overseas.

2. Application fees allow us to keep up with the latest technology in fraud prevention:

You don’t want just anyone to be able to obtain a U.S. Passport, do you?  The Passport Agency has received great praise from document security specialists all over the world and views the prevention of Passport fraud as a key ongoing priority.

3. Fees help fund passport infrastructure and service.

Offering more timely service to the traveling public is always a number one priority at the Passport Agency Office, but it is equally as important to maintain high standards for adjudication in accordance with US citizenship laws.

4. Millions of Passports are requested each year.

The demand for passports has increased to an average of 15 million per year in recent years.  For example, in FY 2005, the Passport Agency issued 10.1 million passports, 18.4 million in FY 2007; and they predict to issue over 15 million in FY 2010.  The new fees will help them to increase their presence in underserved areas such as communities affected by the land border-crossing requirements associated with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.  They expect to have 23

agencies providing emergency passport services to the general public, three high-volume application processing centers, and two large-scale document print centers by the end of FY 2010.

5. Passports are no longer used just for travel.

The U.S. Passport Book and U.S. Passport Card serves as proof of U.S. citizenship and identity for important purposes such as: work authorization and eligibility for many Federal benefits.  Keep in mind that Adult U.S. Passport Books and U.S. Passport Cards are valid for 10 years, so paying these fees once every 10 years with all of the benefits listed above sounds not too shabby to us!

* Information for this post was obtained via the State Department website.  For more details, please visit www.state.gov.  If you need to change to your married name on your U.S. Passport, check out MissNowMrs.com/Passport-Name-Change.aspx for the inside scoop!

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