Applying for a US passport is now more expensive

(WASHINGTON) — The price of a passport officially went up on Monday, at a time when Americans are seeing higher prices seemingly everywhere they look.

The State Department announced that the price for a passport book will increase by $20 starting on Monday, saying via Twitter that the increased fee “is necessary to ensure we continue to produce one of the most secure travel and identity documents in the world.”

The fee increase applies to all passports, including renewals, the State Department added in a follow-up tweet.

With the new fee, the cost of a first-time adult passport book comes out to $165, comprising of a $130 application fee and a $35 acceptance fee. The price for renewing an adult passport book now totals $130. The price for a minor passport book for those under age 16 is now $135 (consisting of a $100 application fee and a $35 acceptance fee). A detailed breakdown of the new charges is available on the State Department’s website.

The price increases for those seeking a passport to travel internationally also comes amid reports of long waits for processing that have emerged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Department currently states that routine processing of passport application takes some eight to 11 weeks and expedited processing (for an additional fee of $60) is taking about five to seven weeks. The agency urges travelers to “plan ahead and apply early” if they know they need a passport for upcoming travel plans.

In addition to higher passport fees, pandemic-era travelers have also reported a slew of other issues as new variants and outbreaks continue to disrupt the travel industry. Just this week, more than 2,000 flights have been canceled since Christmas Eve as the recent COVID-19 surge has resulted in crew shortages.

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