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Passport Fees

The cost of obtaining a passport is one of the most frequently asked concerns (how much is a passport?). The cost of obtaining a passport is actually fairly straightforward. The actual passport fee and the acceptance agent charge are the two primary components. Although they are less frequent, there are extra expenses that we will also discuss.

Fee for Acceptance Agent

An approved person (often a government employee or US Postal Service employee) known as an acceptance agent will witness your signature on certain types of passport applications, check that your paperwork is in order, and seal it before submitting it to the passport office. The total cost of hiring an acceptance agent is $35. The only passport applications that need to be brought to an acceptance agent are new passport applications, lost, stolen, or damaged passport applications, second passport applications, and child passport applications. As a general rule, if you are applying for a passport using a DS-11, you must see an acceptance agent and pay the $35 acceptance agent charge. This is true of all of these passport application forms. Payments for acceptance agents are made directly to them, the US Passport Service, your neighborhood court clerk, etc. Depending on the venue, you can typically pay this cost using cash, a check, a money order, or a credit/debit card. View a complete list of acceptance agents at passport offices in your area.

Application fee for a passport

Depending on whether the applicant is an adult or a child, the cost of applying for a passport book will differ. The cost of a passport application for an adult is $130; for a kid, it is $100. Payment for every passport fee must be done using a check or money order made out to the “US Department of State.” Depending on whether the applicant is a kid or an adult, the fee for passport cards ranges from $15 to $30.

Passport photo cost

New passport photos are required for all passport applications. Where you get your passport photos done will determine the cost, which is normally between $8 and $13. Check the passport office list for specifics as many acceptance agents can also snap and print your passport photos locally.

How much does a passport cost?

Passport Fee
Expedite Fee
Acceptance Agent Fee
Total Government Fee
New Passport Adult Age 16 And Older
$130
$60
$35
$165 – Standard
$225 – Expedited
New Passport Child Age 15 And Younger
$100
$60
$35
$135 – Standard
$195 – Expedited
Lost / Stolen / Damaged
$130 (adult)
$60
$35
$165 – Standard
$225 – Expedited
Passport Card Only 1st Time
$15 (child)
$30 (adult)
$35
$40 (child)
$55 (adult)
Passport Renewal
$130
$60
$130 – Standard
$190 – Expedited
Add Passport Pages (no longer available)
Second Passport
$130
$60
$35
$165 – Standard
$225 – Expedited

The Expedited Passport Fee

Only if you desire to receive your passport sooner than the typical processing time of 4-6 weeks are expedite fees necessary. When using a third-party expediter, you will also be needed to pay their fees, which vary depending on the service you use and how quickly you choose to have your passport expedited. The cost to expedite a passport through the US government is $60.

Fee for File Search

According to the US Department of State, “A File Search Fee is required when a customer cannot produce primary citizenship evidence and requests in writing that a prior U.S. passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad record be verified in order to establish citizenship for the issuance of his or her passport.” This means that if you previously had a passport, but it was lost, expired more than five years ago, or you misplaced your original citizenship documents, you will need to pay this fee. This service costs $150.

Fees for Shipping Passports

Standard delivery is included in the price if you choose the standard service while applying for a passport. The government fee for sending a passport back more quickly is $20.66. This option is available to you. You will be charged a fee if you use a passport expediting service for both the inbound and outbound FedEx shipping.

Common Questions about Passport Fees

Can you get a passport for free?

Usually no. However you might want to try contacting your local federal congressperson, they do have the authority to grant free passports through a special issuance office.

How much does the government make on passport fees?

With more than 13.9 million passport books issued in 2015 and 1.65 million passport books, some simple math tells us that passports accounted for at least 1.5 billion USD in revenue. Of course this is a ball park and I haven’t seen any actual breakdown from the Department of State for the passport fees collected. This figure does not include expedite fees or file search fees. The 1.5 Billion figure assumes all 13.9 million passports were adult passports and none were child or free passports. I also did not include revenue generated from passport cards.