With the world moving forward from the pandemic, some countries are starting to open up for travel and tourism. Before booking a trip abroad, the first step many Americans take is finding a travel agent who can help prepare an itinerary and make a flight reservation. The second step in planning for international travel is applying for a passport with the U.S. Department of State.
It’s best to apply for your passport as early as possible. Not only will it take 12 to 18 weeks or more for a passport to arrive after sending in the application, but building in plenty of lead time reduces stress and increases savings. How much a passport costs depends on the age of the applicant, whether it’s a passport card or book, and whether it’s new or a renewal.
Passport Fees & Costs
|Type of Application
|Passport Book for ages 16 and older
|Passport Card for ages 16 and older
|Passport Book Renewal
|Passport Card Renewal
|Passport Book for ages 15 and younger
|Passport Card for ages 15 and younger
This fee goes to the U.S. Department of State, which will verify the identity of the applicant and the truthfulness of all the information provided.
Other Passport Costs
You can have your application processed faster, but that will cost an extra $60. If your passport is already in process, you can still have it expedited for the same fee.
If you need to travel internationally in the next 72 hours due to a life or death emergency or any other reason, you can make an in-person appointment at the nearest U.S. Department of State passport agency, but there’s no guarantee an appointment will be available on short notice.
Gone are the days of having to pay someone to take a passport photo. Newer phones have enough resolution to compete with low-end DSLR cameras. If you don’t have a photo printer at home, though, you’ll have to pay to have it printed on photo paper.
If you don’t have a copy of your birth certificate, that adds another cost. It can be anywhere from $9 in Florida to $34 in Michigan to get a copy of your birth certificate.
Tips on Applying for a U.S. Passport
Passports for Children
Children’s passports are for those age 16 or younger. They are cheaper, but they also expire in five years instead of the usual 10. Children’s passports cannot be renewed. Both parents have to give permission for the child to get a passport.
Passport Book vs. Passport Card
Passport cards cannot be used for air travel. They are only valid for travel to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Passports
Lost, stolen, or damaged passports, or passports that expired five years ago or longer, are treated as new applications.
Remember, it can take more than four months to get a U.S. passport. If you plan on traveling abroad soon and need to renew your passport or get a new one, make sure this is a top priority on your to-do list.
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- Travel.state.gov. "United States Passport Fees."
- Travel.state.gov. "Frequently Asked Questions."
- Travel.state.gov. "Passports for Children Under 16 - Department of State Travel."