If you have been planning to get a U.S. Passport, or renew one, act fast. U.S. Passport fees increase dramatically on July 13, 2010.
The cost of a new passport jumps from $100 to $135. Renewing your existing passport will rocket from $75 to $110, a 47 percent increase.
Charges for a minor to age 16 increase from $85 to $105. Even the cost of a Passport Card, for land crossings into Canada and Mexico is going up from $45 to $55. These represent the third increase in the last five years.
And the feds are adding an entirely new passport fee, too.
If you are a frequent traveler who needs to add additional pages to an existing passport, that will cost $82 after July 13, 2010. Right now it is free.
So, if you think you’ll need a passport in the next few years, if your existing passport is expiring in the new couple of years, or if you think you’ll run out of pages soon, the apply, renew or expand now, before the price goes up on July 13, 2010.
You can apply at many US Postal Service branches, by mail, or in person at a passport office.
Pack Your Passport for a Cruise
Remember, you’ll need a passport if you go on a cruise that sails beyond U.S. territorial waters — and most of them do.
Even if you have no plans to disembark in Cancun, St. Thomas, or Vancouver, you’ll need a passport to board.
I needed to show my passport to board the spectacular new Norwegian Epic mega-ship over July Fourth weekend, even though it was a preview inaugural cruise for journalists and travel agents, and there was no port stop whatsoever, except New York City.
And if you need your passport back faster than the three to six weeks it takes, that will cost you an additional $60 to expedite.
A few months ago it cost me $60 and two trips to the U. S. Passport office in New York City to get extra pages — one to give them my passport, then to pick it up the next day.
It’s bad enough the airlines are raising the cost of flying by charging us $25 to $50 to check a bag, now the federal government is adding to the cost of a family reunion, summer vacation, college year abroad, or any other type of travel beyond US borders or taking a cruise, by increasing fees for a U.S. Passport.