How much does it cost to get a passport?
December 15, 2022 5 min read
Traveling can be one of life’s most rewarding activities. Leaving your comfort zone and setting out on an adventure can change the way you see the world and your place in it.
Getting a passport may be on your travel to-do list. If so, check out this guide for information on pricing, how to get a first-time passport, how to renew a passport and more.
- When you travel, you may need either a passport book or passport card. The book is valid for international travel by land, sea or air; the card is valid for entering the United States at land border crossings and seaports of entry from Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.
- For adults 16 and over, a first-time passport book is $165; renewing a passport book is $130.
- For adults 16 and over, a first-time passport card is $65; renewing a passport card is $30.
- Standard processing time for a passport is 6-9 weeks, not including mailing time. You may be able to get an expedited passport in 3-5 weeks for $60 plus possible additional fees.
The cost of a passport
When you get a passport, you should know that it can take the form of either a book or a card. Your travel plans may dictate which you choose to apply for.
Cost of a passport book
A passport book is valid for traveling internationally by land, sea or air. For adults 16 and over, a passport book costs $165—that’s for a $130 application fee plus a $35 execution fee.
Cost of a passport card
A passport card is valid for entering the U.S. at land border crossings and seaports of entry from Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.
For adults 16 and over, a passport card costs $30 to apply for plus a $35 execution fee. If you’d like to bundle a passport book and card together, you’ll pay $160 to apply plus a $35 execution fee.
Traveling with kids
Passport books and passport cards cost less for kids under 16. A passport book is $100 to apply for, while a card is just $15. The same $35 execution fee applies to both—but you can save on that fee if you apply for them together for $115.
Renewing an existing passport
For adults 16 and over, passport books and cards are valid for 10 years; for children under 16, they’re valid for 5 years.
The cost for passport renewal of a book or card is the same as applying for one the first time—with the exception that you won’t pay the $35 execution fee for a passport renewal.
How to get your passport fast
Need to get your passport fast? A routine passport application can take 6-9 weeks to complete. If you’re in a rush to get your passport, you may be able to have your application expedited.
Expedited passport application
For an additional $60 fee, the U.S. Department of State offers expedited processing of passports. That reduces the processing time from about 6-9 weeks to about 3-5 weeks. For delivery in 1-2 days, applicants can also pay an extra $18.32.
A quick overview of the passport process
Ready to start the passport application process? If you’re ready to apply for a first-time passport, you’ll want to have all your application materials on hand when you apply. For example, you’ll need to provide proof of your identity using identification like a driver’s license or current or expired U.S. passport.
You’ll also need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship with documents like a U.S. birth certificate or current or expired U.S. passport. If you can’t provide proof of U.S. citizenship, a $150 file search fee may be added to your passport application costs.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a passport at local post offices, public libraries and municipal government offices. These are called acceptance facilities and some require a passport appointment. You can find your nearest passport acceptance facility on the U.S. Department of State’s website.
In general, you can renew your passport by mail. But you may need to visit a passport acceptance facility if one or more of these situations apply:
- You’re under age 16.
- You were under age 16 when your previous U.S. passport was issued.
- You were issued your previous U.S. passport more than 15 years ago.
- You had a previous U.S. passport that was lost, stolen or damaged.
Paying for your passport
Once you’re ready to submit your application, you’ll have to pay for your passport. If you go to a passport acceptance facility, you’ll be required to pay with a check or a money order. According to the U.S. Department of State, acceptance facilities may charge a separate $35 fee in certain circumstances.
You can also pay for your application at a passport agency, which is a specialized passport application center. In general, your options for paying at an agency include credit cards, checks, money orders and cash.
At times, travelers can find themselves in emergency circumstances that require a passport right away. Passport agencies may be able to help applicants receive their passports on an expedited basis. This service is typically only available in life-or-death circumstances or emergency situations.
How much it costs to get a passport—in a nutshell
A passport is essential if you’re a U.S. citizen who wants to travel internationally. While it can seem like a major expense, planning ahead can help contain costs. For example, having on hand all the application documents you’ll need may help prevent extra expenses and delays.
Now that you’ve read about the cost of getting a passport—and keeping your expenses as low as possible—what’s next? If you’re looking to make your money go further, you may want to consider these cheap vacation spots. And maybe look into getting travel insurance for your next getaway.