The US State Department announced on December 20th that passport prices will increase by $20 for all passports, both new and renewals.
According to Afar, the new passport prices will be as follows:
~ Adult (16 and older) and applying for the first time: $165
~ Adult (16 and older) and renewing their passport: $130
~ Under 16 and applying for a new passport: $135
In a Twitter post from the State Department, it says that prices are increasing in order to “ensure we continue to produce one of the most secure travel and identity documents in the world..” However, it makes no mention as to what features the increased prices will help pay for.
On Dec 27, the cost for a passport book will increase by $20. The increased fee is necessary to ensure we continue to produce one of the most secure travel and identity documents in the world. For current passport fees, see: https://t.co/Ky2VrT7dtB. pic.twitter.com/SAw5HwaVUg
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) December 20, 2021
Each US passport comes equipped with a microprocessor chip which helps store biometric data to make travel smoother. It’s possible that the fee increase will help pay for the chips during the global supply chain issues. It was also announced recently that the US will begin to allow Americans to apply for and renew their passports online. It’s possible that the fee increase is being used to help facilitate the creation of the new online system.
For those looking to apply or renew their passports, estimated wait times are currently placed between 8 and 11 weeks. Fortunately, the new online system is hoping to lower that turnaround to 5 to 7 weeks.
For more information on passports, visit the State Department’s website