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Passport

How Much Does a Passport Cost?

Thinking about traveling soon? Double check to verify your current passport is up-to-date. If not, make sure your passport application is submitted. More so than a good camera or a sturdy bag, a government-issued passport is the single most essential requirement for international travel. But that’s just one reason to apply for one. Passports are also one of the few legal documents employers accept as legal proof of citizenship

You might be curious: How much does a passport cost? 

The actual cost of a passport depends on a few factors, including how quickly you need your passport. We’ll review the following topics to help you tally the final cost:

  • The Two Types of Passports
  • The Basic Costs of a Passport
  • Expediting Fees
  • Ancillary Expenses to Keep in Mind

The Two Types of Passports

Before trying to answer the question, how much does a new passport cost, it’s important to consider that not all passports are created equal. When you’re ready to order yours, decide which of these two variations fit your needs:

  • Passport Book – This is the standard dark blue booklet form of a passport. It can be used for international travel and as a form of official government-issued identification. 
  • Passport Card – A passport card closely resembles a state-issued driver’s license. This card is considerably cheaper, but it can’t be used for international travel by air. It’s strictly used as a form of official identification and for international travel by land or sea. 

Understanding the difference between passport book and card will be important as you navigate your passport application and its final cost. 

The Basic Costs of a Passport

Now that we covered the differences between the two passport types, back to answering our question: How much does a US passport cost? Let’s dig into the two basic costs:

  • Application Fees
  • Execution Fees

This can be the most complicated part of your costs, but there is a simple way to think about this. The State Department requests your application fee for making the passport itself, while the party who accepts your passport paperwork—oftentimes a local post office—requests the execution fee.

The execution fee is a flat $35 passport fee and only applies to first-time passport applicants. Passport Applicationfeescan vary.

Adult Passport Costs 

If you’re over the age of 16, you must apply for an adult passport. How much a US passport costs depends on which type of passport you’re ordering:

  • A first-time adult passport book costs $145.
    • Application Fee – $110 
    • Execution Fee – $35
  • A first-time adult passport card costs $65.
    • Application Fee – $30 
    • Execution Fee – $35
  • Ordering both a first-time adult passport card and book costs $175. 
    • Application Fee – $140 
    • Execution Fee – $35

Adult passports are good for ten years.

Passport Costs for Minors

Ordering a passport for a child under the age of 16 is slightly less expensive.

  • A passport book for minors costs $115.
    • Application Fee – $80 
    • Execution Fee – $35
  • A passport card for minors costs $50.
    • Application Fee – $15 
    • Execution Fee – $35
  • Ordering both a passport card and book for minors costs $130. 
    • Application Fee – $95
    • Execution Fee – $35

Tip: Technical errors on your passport can often be free to change, depending on the issue. If your change is not a technical error, making a correction can be a hassle. E-records tools make replacing, changing, or ordering a new passport simple and secure.

Renewal Fees

Consider renewing your current passport before it expires. How much does a new passport cost? 

Passport renewals can be done by mail, and since your application goes directly to the State Department, there are no execution fees. The cost of renewing your passport is simply the standard application fee charged per passport type.

The routine processing time for a passport renewal is 10-12 weeks. 

Expediting Costs

Realistically, it’s not uncommon for people to find themselves with an upcoming trip in the near future, only to be hit with a sudden realization that their passport has expired. Many people don’t know how to get a passport fast. The good news? No need to panic. There is a passport service available that allows you to purchase an expedited passport.

But you probably guessed the catch: There’s a fee for that.

The expedited passport fee is $60. For nearly half the cost of the passport itself, this fee shortens the processing time of a passport to 4-6 weeks. For many looking to skip the line, the cost of this expedited service is a small price to pay. 

Ancillary Expenses to Consider

There are a few extra costs to obtaining a passport that would be wise to keep in mind, including:

  • Your Passport Photo – You’re on the hook to get your own passport photo. Many local pharmacies can provide this service for as little at $15. Or, learn how to take a passport photo at home to cut costs!
  • Shipping Fees – It’s important to remember your expediting fees only cover the passport processing time, not the shipping time. For an extra $17.13, your passport can be shipped in less than two days after processing. This option is not currently available for passport cards.

Tip: Officials frown upon using a “selfie” as a passport photo. Getting your photo professionally taken guarantees it will match requirements. Otherwise, it may run the risk of being rejected during processing.

Time to Get Your Passport

Whether it’s to prove your citizenship to a prospective employer or to travel overseas, a passport might be your ticket to exciting new opportunities. With the expense information listed above, you can get a first-time passport or renew your passport without worrying about high, unexpected passport service costs. 

However, there is one final cost that hasn’t been considered. And that’s the hours spent understanding all the different requirements and filling out complicated government forms.

But we have you covered. Simply fill out our form to apply for a passport online today!

Sources:

  1. U.S. Department of State. Passport Feeshttps://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/how-apply/fees.html
  2. CVS Pharmacy. Passport Photoshttps://www.cvs.com/photo/passport-photos

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