As of December 27th, the cost of applying for a US passport for the first time or renewing it will increase, according to the federal government. The State Department said that all applicants will be charged an additional $20 processing fee.
With this change, first-time U.S. passport applicants over the age of 16 will be charged a total of $165. Those 16 and older seeking to renew their passports will have to pay a total fee of $130.
The cost for those under 16 applying for a passport for the first time will be $135. Travelers also have the option to pay $60 to expedite delivery and receive the passport in five to seven weeks or $17.56 for one-to-two day delivery. In a tweet posted Dec. 20, the State Department said the fee increase is “necessary to ensure that we can continue to produce one of the most secure travel documents in the world.”
On Monday December 13th, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to save citizens time and frustration when accessing various federal services, such as renewing passports, applying for Social Security benefits and obtaining disaster relief.
US citizens will now be able to renew their passports online instead of having to print forms or pay with checks or money orders. New security machines and computers with advanced screening features will streamline the process of going through security lines for the nearly two million people who fly daily.
Securing a passport has been a challenge for travelers in recent months, with non-expedited wait times over the summer of up to 18 weeks due to high travel demand, staff shortages and delays within the US Postal Service. Processing times have since dropped down to 11 weeks.