Passport renewal fees set to jump 18%
IIf you’ve put off getting a new passport or renewing an expired one, you have five days before the passport service fee increases by $ 20. The cost of renewing a passport book will increase by 18% from next Monday, December 27, the US State Department said earlier this week.
The cost of renewing passport books will increase from $ 110 to $ 130, an increase of 18%. The cost of a new passport book will increase by 14%, from $ 145 to $ 165, for adults over 16, while the fee for passport books for children under 16 will increase from $ 115 to $ 135, a 17% increase.
You can save $ 20 if you can submit your request by Monday, but then you will need to be patient. Currently, the turnaround time for a standard passport renewal can currently take up to 11 weeks, depending on the State Department website. For an additional $ 60, an expedited renewal request can take up to seven weeks.
That said, passport renewals are proceeding much faster than last summer, when travelers waited up to 18 weeks to renew their passports. But it’s still taking a lot longer than before the pandemic, when six to eight weeks for standard service was the norm. Back then, if you opted for expedited service, you could get your little blue book in as little as two weeks.
If you aren’t able to get your passport renewed by Monday, there is a silver lining. Very soon, the deadlines should improve as it will become possible to renew passports online.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden signed an executive order, Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Restore Trust in Government, which promises to bring key government agencies into the digital age and cut red tape for a wide range of services, including passport renewals.
USA.gov, the official website for federal government services, is being redesigned as a centralized one-stop-shop and “digital federal gateway” to improve access to the most popular government services and programs. In total, the decree covers 35 “high impact service providers” in 17 federal agencies, which will facilitate access to social security benefits, tax returns and airport security.
Among the main improvements: “Americans will be able to renew their passports securely online, saving them the wait and the effort and cost of printing, going to a post office and using a paper check,” according to the report. the White House. .
So far in 2021, more than 15.4 million Americans have obtained passports, according to State Department data. Currently, the renewal of a US passport can only be done in person or by mail.
A limited number of Americans will be able to renew their passports online this month, and the White House promises that number will increase significantly in the coming months.