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Insurable Interests

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Insurable Interests

Vol. 5, Issue 12August 2010

FINANCIAL INTERESTS

Passport Prices Increase

The cost of overseas travel went up on July 13, 2010, when the U.S. government raised the price of a passport book or the new passport card used for some travel in North America.

If you are 16 years of age or older, you will have to pay $110 for a passport book, the traditional form of a passport, which you can use for any kind of travel. In addition, you will have to cough up $25 for what the government calls an execution fee, which is basically a handling fee. The old price for a passport for an adult was $100, including the execution fee. Children under 16 now pay $105, including the $25 execution fee.

If you are an adult and want just a passport card, which you can use for land or sea—but not air—travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, it will cost you $30, plus the $25 execution fee, for a total of $55. Kids pay $40--$15 plus the $25 execution fee.

Adults can get both the book passport and the card for $165, and kids can get both for $120.

If you need to renew your passport, you will pay the increased fees but not the execution fee. So, as an adult, you will pay $110 to renew your passport book, $30 to renew your card, and $140 to renew both.

Both the passport book and the passport card are valid for 10 years for adults and for five years for minors.

The government decided to increase the fees based on a Cost of Service Study that it says showed that fees were not covering the actual cost of issuing passports. In addition to application and renewal fees, there also are fees if you want to expedite the issuance of your passport, if you want overnight delivery, if you need additional pages in your passport, etc.

To get a U.S. passport, you need to go to a facility that issues passports. Post offices usually issue passports, as do many city or county governments. Bring proof of citizenship and identity. For a first-time applicant, you can use your birth certificate or naturalization papers. If you are renewing your passport, you can use your existing passport.

You also need a photo ID, such as your driver’s license or your old passport. You need two color passport photos, which are 2 inches square.

And of course, you need your checkbook.

For more information on getting a U.S. passport, visit the State Department's passport website.

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