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Feds Propose New Passport Fees

March 3, 2010 By: George Dooley

The State Department is proposing increases in the cost of passports. The proposed rule for the new passport fees was published in the Federal Register last month and will be followed by a public comment period of at least 30 days. The public will be notified of the date the new fees will go into effect. Adult first-time passports will increase from $95 plus the $25 execution fee to $135. The U.S. Passport Book and U.S. Passport Card for adults are valid for 10 years.

The proposed schedule of fees for passport application services is as follows:

*    Total Cost: $135 for a first-time U.S. Passport Book for adults (age 16 and over)
*    Total Cost: $110 for U.S. Passport Book renewal (age 16 and over only)
*    Total Cost: $105 for a U.S. Passport Book for minors (under age 16)
*    Total Cost: $55 for a first-time U.S. Passport Card for adults (age 16 and over)
*    Total Cost: $30 for a U.S. Passport Card for adults (age 16 and over) who currently hold a fully valid U.S. Passport
*    Total Cost: $40 for a U.S. Passport Card for minors (under age 16)
*    Total Cost: $82 for additional visa pages

The fee for expedited service will remain $60.

The proposed passport “Schedule of Fees” is based on a Cost of Service Study conducted in June 2009. “It’s the most detailed study the Department of State has ever conducted of its for-fee services, and represents a cost correction from the last update of the Schedule of Fees four years ago,” the State Deoartment says.

Passport application fees are not only used to cover the costs of producing a U.S. Passport Book or Passport Card. Passport fees also cover the costs of providing emergency services for American citizens overseas in crisis situations, such as the current earthquake disaster in Haiti, helping Americans who have been the victims of crime while traveling or living abroad, and providing support to the families of American citizens who have died overseas, State says.

“Passport application fees enable us to keep up with technology and implement fraud prevention initiatives to protect the United States passport," the State Deoartment says. "The security features of the U.S. passport book have received high praise from document security specialists the world over. Investing in new technology to prevent passport fraud is one of our key priorities, and an ongoing initiative.”

Passport fees fund the expansion of passport infrastructure and service, allowing us to offer more timely service to the traveling public, maintain high standards for adjudication in accordance with U.S. citizenship laws, and provide appropriate attention to fraud vulnerabilities.

Over the last five years, the demand for passports has increased to an average of 15 million per year. State reports. In FY 2005, State issued 10.1 million passports; peaked at 18.4 million in 2007; and expect to issue over 15 million in 2010.



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