The US passport has always been an active topic of discussion for various reasons. The blue book is again in news. As per latest news and reports from the U.S Department of State, it has been known that the ‘execution fee’ for getting a new passport will be increased to $35 from $25 from coming 2nd April, 2018. As a result, there will be a surge in the total price which is needed to obtain a new US passport. For adults, the cost incurred in getting a new passport will be $145; while it will be $115 for children, who are of 16 years or younger than that. Therefore if you are intending to get a new US passport in the coming months, it is better to get the thing done now so that you can save those extra dollars easily.
It is quite interesting to note that that the increase in execution fee is just charged to those people who apply personally at some official passport agency. Such agencies include consular offices or U.S passport office. If someone renews his/her passport via mail, the increased fee will not be needed. There is a particular reason cited by the US State Department for this. As per the Department of State, the fee for passport execution is set in a manner that allows for ‘cost recovery of U.S Government for offering the consular service’. However, as per two recent studies conducted by the U.S Postal Service and Department of State, it has been ascertained that the processing costs of passports have increased more than $25 fee. This is the main reason for which the fee hike has been prompted.
It has been noted by the U.S State Department that large numbers of in-person applications come at the various U.S post office facilities all across the nation. Among them about 10% of such in-person applications are executed by Department of State official in their presence. Apart from this, very few applications are also executed in presence of local and federal officials.
The fee hike for passport execution was initially published in the Federal Registry in the year 2016. It was submitted for approval to the Congress. However, the new rule and fee guidelines will be effective from 2ndApril, 2018.
Great time for getting a new US passport or getting passport renewal done
Taking into consideration all the cost hikes in passport execution fee etc. which are due to come in near future, it is recommended to apply for a new US passport before this time to save those extra dollars. The process for passport application remains the same. There is also confusion reigning on the matter as which drivers’ licenses can be used by US passengers for boarding domestic flights in this year.
Like getting a new passport, passport renewal will also be expensive with increase in the execution fee. There are two ways in which U.S passport can be renewed. The renewal can be either done personally at a passport agency or the documents can be sent via mail for renewal. Though mailing all the important documents along with the original passport might seem to be stressful to you, but it is actually a great way to save money. $110 application fee is standard for renewal, whether you do it personally at an agency or send it via mail. However, when the process is done personally at an agency, an additional $25 is charged as execution fee. From April 2nd, this fee will go up to $35 –increase of $10.
The U.S State Department expects sudden surge in passport application forms and renewal forms in March 2018 as more and more numbers of people will be looking to get the passports done at lower execution fee.