How Much Does a Passport Cost?
Cost of a passport will be more if it has to be expedited
Cost of passport varies by applicant's age
Citizens of the United States planning to travel outside U.S. borders need to have a U.S. passport issued in their name. Two factors affect how much a passport will cost: the age of the applicant, and whether or not the passport is being issued to the applicant for the first time or it is a passport renewal.
If applying for a passport for the first time, the applicant will be required to pay the passport application fee, as well as an execution/acceptance fee. Passport renewals only require payment of the passport application fee.
Passports issued to adults (16 years and older) are valid for ten years; passports issued to minors expire in five years.
Note: The passport application fee is non-refundable even in the event that the passport is not issued.
Cost of passport: adults 16 and older
Passport Book & Passport Card
First Time Passport
$140 + $25 execution fee
$110 + $25 execution fee
$30 + $25 execution fee
Cost of passport: minors 15 and under
Passport Book & Passport Card
First Time Passport
$95 + $25 execution fee
$80 + $25 execuion fee
$15 + $25 execution fee
Notice on the charts above that the cost of a passport card is less than a passport book. A passport card cannot be used for flying internationally. Rather it can only be used for entry by land or sea at U.S. borders for travel to and from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
Therefore, it may be worthwhile to purchase a passport card instead of a book for more limited travel. For example, a passport card may be all that is necessary for going on a Caribbean cruise.
Other passport fees
- Expedited Fee: $60
- Overnight Delivery: $12.72
- File Search (to prove citizenship) $150
- Passport Photo: varies by location, but about $15
How long it takes to get passport
Although emergency situations arise making it impossible to plan in advance, it is best to plan ahead of time when applying for a passport as it takes weeks for the passport to be issued. Additionally, having to have a passport application expedited can significantly increase the cost of a passport.
- Routine passport service takes about 4-6 weeks.
- Expedited passport service takes about 2-3 weeks.
- U.S. citizens abroad will need to consult with their U.S. Embassy or consulate for amount of time required for a passport to be issued.
Routine passports do not require any additional passport fees, other than perhaps a passport photo fee. If a passport needs to be expedited it will cost an additional $60 plus $12.72 for overnight delivery if necessary.
The U.S. Post Office is a passport acceptance facility
Cost of passport photo
Passport photos have to follow certain guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of State. Read: How to Get a Passport and Passport Photo for a list of the passport photo rules. When applying for a passport the applicant should bring:
- passport application
- passport photo
- two forms of ID (proving citizenship & a current form)
There are many locations to get a passport photo taken, which should be a two inch by two inch color head shot facing front on a white or off-white background. Stores such as Walgreens and Kinkos often have passport photo services for a fee.
Even passport acceptance facilities, such as some United States Post office locations, are able to take passport photos. The cost of the photo varies by where it is taken, but in general a passport photo should cost no more than $15.
Forms of payment accepted for passports
Paying passport application & execution fees directly to the U.S. Department of State:
The U.S. Department of State accepts checks and money orders made out to "Department of State" as well as credit cards and debit cards.
Paying passport application & acceptance fees to a passport acceptance facility such as a U.S. Post Office:
Passport application fees can be paid by writing a check made out to "Department of State." The acceptance fees must be paid for separately. Most facilities will accept cash, check, credit or debit card.
Paying for a passport abroad at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate:
The cost of a passport for U.S. citizens living abroad can be paid to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the local foreign currency. The cost is equivalent to the U.S. Department of State's stated rates.
Take a Passport Photo for Free!
Passport Cost-Saving Tips
Apply for a passport early.
The single best way to reduce the cost of a passport is to apply for a passport way in advance of needing it. Paying to have the application expedited, in addition to overnight delivery can add almost $75 to passport fees.
Delay getting a passport until 16th birthday.
Minors close to turning age 16 should try to delay getting a passport until their sixteenth birthday if possible. While the adult passport book fee costs $30 more than the passport book fee for a minor ($110 vs $80), the adult passport is valid for 10 years, whereas the minor's passport is only valid for 5 years.
Consider getting a passport card instead of a passport book.
Be sure to understand the limitations of the card, but often it is all that U.S. travelers need for cruises or crossing land borders to Canada and Mexico.
Take passport photos at home for free.
Websites such as ePassportPhotos.com give very clear directions on how to take a proper passport photo, as well as allowing it to be uploaded to Facebook for verification. Passport photos can cost as much as $12-$15 per photo. Watch the ePassport Photo video to see how easy it is to take a passport photo for free.
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