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How Much Does a Passport Cost?

Updated on February 26, 2012

Cost of a passport will be more if it has to be expedited

Get a U.S. passport early to avoid additional fees.
Get a U.S. passport early to avoid additional fees. | Source

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
Passport Book
Passport Card
First Time Passport
$140 + $25 execution fee
$110 + $25 execution fee
$30 + $25 execution fee
Passport Renewal
$140
$110
$30
An execution or acceptance fee is charged for first-time passport applications.

Cost of passport: minors 15 and under

 
Passport Book & Passport Card
Passport Book
Passport Card
First Time Passport
$95 + $25 execution fee
$80 + $25 execuion fee
$15 + $25 execution fee
Passport Renewal
$95
$80
$15
The cost of a passport card is significantly less since it is only available to use for limited international travel crossing at land or sea borders.

Passport card

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

Be sure to bring all necessary items to the passport facility.
Be sure to bring all necessary items to the passport facility. | Source

Apply for a passport:

Do you need to apply for a passport? Be sure to read:


Other Helpful Information can be found at:


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)
  • payment

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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Comments

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    • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristin Trapp 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      John - You're right; with a little bit of planning ahead, getting a passport is not that time-consuming of an ordeal, but for those that need it expedited it's probably a different story.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great hub Ktrapp. My current passport cost me around $125.00 or so? Can't fully remember just now. I went to the post office closest to my home in West Los Angeles. ...all and all not a horrible ordeal. However, I hear about individuals who need a passport on the spot in order to travel go through a great ordeal in obtaining one---long lines and the likes.

      Great and informative hub - voted as such

      John

    • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristin Trapp 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Peggy. You just have to follow the requirements/specifications for taking your own photos, but, yes, you are allowed to take your own passport photos. Have fun wherever you journey with those newly renewed passports!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      My husband and I just recently renewed our passports. I had no idea that we could have taken our own passport photos. Thanks for all of this good information! Voted up, useful and sharing.

    • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristin Trapp 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      Harish - I'm glad to know this information on the cost of a passport was helpful to you.

    • profile image

      Harish 

      6 years ago

      really its wonderful information its help me a lot to take passport easily and also it gives clear picture about cost......

    • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristin Trapp 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you Donna. I'm glad to know that the passport cost tables were helpful!

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 

      6 years ago from USA

      Nice hub and I really appreciated the information in the tables. It made it easy to scan the page and find out what I wanted to know. This is a good guide for anyone who is curious about getting a passport. Voted up!

    • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristin Trapp 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      The passport card was introduced in 2008 and the government has issued around 3 million. They definitely make a lot of sense, especially for U.S. residents near borders. The passport card is also useful for people going on cruises leaving and returning to the same U.S. port, although travelers should make certain that the passport card is enough for entry into all places the cruise stops. Thanks for commenting nikashi_designs.

    • profile image

      nikashi_designs 

      6 years ago

      Some great information and something new to learn. I have never heard of the Passport Card which makes a lot of sense. Thanks...

    • ktrapp profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristin Trapp 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Chasing Riley. I am glad you noticed the passport cost-savings tips. I know next time I need to get a passport I am going to try taking my own passport photo. Besides being a cost-savings, hopefully a much better passport photo can be achieved!

    • Chasing Riley profile image

      Chasing Riley 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great information which is nicely organized. The government could use you! I especially like your cost savings tips at the bottom. Voted up & useful.

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