With just a week's notice, the U.S. State Department is preparing to raise the price for getting a U.S. passport book – whether you're applying for the first time or renewing an existing passport.
Effective next Monday, Dec. 27, security surcharges for passport books will increase by $20, the State Department announced late Monday.
- For adults over 16 applying for a passport, that hike will bring the total cost from $145 up to $165
- Adults renewing an existing passport will also see the $20 increase, bringing the final cost to $130 (up from $110)
- Minors under 16 will soon pay $135 (up from $115)
Those higher prices don't include add-ons like a $60 charge to expedite processing or nearly $20 for rush delivery.
It's the first price increase for passports since 2018, when rates increased by $10 for most applicants. The State Department said the higher price was necessary “to ensure we continue to produce one of the most secure travel and identity documents in the world.”
Applications received before Dec. 27 should pay the lower rate, but the State Department isn't giving Americans much time to beat that price increase. You've got less than a week to get your applications or renewals in before the $20 increase kicks in.
As of 2019, just 42% of Americans held a passport.
Passports have been a major pain point for Americans throughout the pandemic thanks to massive backlogs and long processing times. While the situation has improved, getting a passport still requires planning ahead.
As of late October, the State Department said passport processing is taking eight to 11 weeks, on average – or five to seven weeks for applicants who pay for expedited processing. And those timelines don't include shipping times.
Renewing a U.S. passport is a part of life for American travelers. Passports expire every 10 years – or every five years for children under 16. But in practice, that window may be slightly shorter as many countries around the globe require at least six months of validity on a passport to allow entry.
Just last week, President Joe Biden's administration announced it will allow Americans to begin renewing their passports online, replacing the current mail-and-check system. But the White House has not set any timelines for bringing that functionality online.