At a time when the idea of leaving this country is overwhelmingly enticing, the very document that allows such a thing is about to become more expensive to procure.
The Department of State published a Final Rule this week that will allow the increase of the so-called "passport execution fee" to $35. The new fee, which was previously a slightly less annoying $25, goes into effect April 2 of this year. This means adult passport books will now set you back $145, while children will continue to reap unwarranted financial benefits at $115 per book. A passport card—which is all you need for land border crossings and sea entrances from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and Bermuda— will now be $65 for adults, $50 for children.
Technically, the cost of the passport document itself isn't changing. Neither are the application fees. If you're wondering about where the extra $10 is going, the Los Angeles Times has the intel. "This particular fee does not go to the Department of State but goes to the entity that does the acceptance," Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brenda Sprague said Friday. The fee increase will act as a "revenue stream" for places like libraries and universities, Sprague added. The majority of passport transactions, however, still go down at post offices.
To avoid the increased fee altogether, just apply for a passport via the mysterious process of snail mail. Both fresh and renewing applicants will not be hit with the increase when using something called a mailbox, whatever that is.