Blow the dust off the old suitcase because people are traveling again! According to research by the Mastercard Economic Institute, both business and leisure flights are now surpassing what they were in 2019, pre-pandemic, with global leisure flights up by 25 percent as of April alone. But before researching how much that international flight is going to cost, you need to make sure your passport hasn't expired since the last time you traveled. And if it has, you need to know: How much does a passport cost?
Whether you're planning your next trip to one of the most beautiful places in the world or checking out one of the hottest food and wine festivals, you're going to want to make sure your passport is in order before hopping on an international flight.
Parade consulted Patricia Wittenberg, travel specialist and travel agency owner at 4 Star Traveler, to get the lowdown on passports.
Keep reading for answers to frequently asked questions about passports and what you need to do before partaking on an international adventure.
How much does a passport cost?
If you're wondering what a passport costs, it's first worth noting that there are a few different kinds of passports—each with their own individual price point. According to Wittenberg, the current United States passport fees in 2022 are as follows:
First-Time Passport Costs
First Time Adult Passport Book: $130 application fee, $30 execution fee
First Time Adult Passport Card: $30 application fee, $35 execution fee
First Time Adult Passport Book & Card: $160 application fee, $35 execution fee
First Time Adult Passport Card (currently have a valid passport book): $30 application fee
Passport Renewal Costs
Renewal Adult Passport Book: $130 application fee
Renewal Adult Passport Card: $30 application fee
Renewal Adult Passport Book & Card: $160 application fee
Child Passport Costs
First Time Minor Passport Book: $100 application fee, $35 execution fee
First Time Minor Passport Card: $15 application fee, $35 execution fee
First Time Minor Passport Book & Card: $115 application fee, $35 execution fee
Additional Passport Fees
Optional Expedite Fee: $60 per application
Optional 1-2 Day Delivery Fee: $18.32 (not valid for passport cards)
File Search Fee: $150 (necessary when the applicant is unable to president evidence of U.S. citizenship and must be requested by Forms DS-11).
Wittenberg adds, "The passport application fee and execution fee are non-refundable. Both fees are collected and retained by law even if a passport is not issued. However, note that you may be able to request a refund of the $60 Expedite Fee in the event the expedite service was not received."
Have passport prices gone up with inflation?
You've probably heard the word "inflation" a time or two (or a thousand) this year and may be wondering if inflation also affects the prices of passports. After all, inflation significantly impacts gas prices, mortgages and just about everything else.
As you may have guessed, inflation affects passport prices, too.
Wittenberg says, "The most recent passport price increase occurred on December 27, 2021, and went up $20 per person."
How long does it take to get a passport?
In a rush? One of the most anxious parts about getting a passport is the question of whether you'll get it in time.
"As shown on the U.S. Department of State website, the current timeframes are 8 to 11 weeks for routine services and 5 to 7 weeks for expedited services with a fee," Wittenberg explains.
You can, of course, blame the coronavirus global pandemic for pushing time frames back. Like everything else—including baby formula—COVID has made things less readily accessible and upped the waiting times, too.
"Although passport services had been delayed due to COVID-19, time frames seem to be improving and it's possible you may receive your passports before the listed time frame," Wittenberg adds. "If you are traveling in the near future, it is important to plan for the worst-case scenario."
If you need to expedite your passport, you can always pay the Expedite Fee or make an appointment to apply for an Urgent Passport. This will require you to provide proof of international travel within the next 14 days.
There is also the option of applying for a Life or Death Emergency Passport within 72 hours. You'll also need to show proof of emergency and international travel. For an appointment, the number to call is 877-487-2778 from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm ET Monday through Fridays. They are closed on weekends and federal holidays.
You may be eligible to apply in person at a passport agency if you are traveling soon. Visit Get My Passport Fast to see if you qualify.
What do you need to get a passport?
According to Wittenberg, in order to get a passport, you will need to submit the following:
Completed application Form DS-11 if applying for your first passport or DS-82 for renewal.
Citizenship evidence such as; a Valid U.S. passport (may be expired), a raised seal U.S. Birth Certificate, Consular Report or Certification of Birth Abroad, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship.
Photocopy of current ID such as U.S. passport, valid Driver's License, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, Government Employee ID, U.S. Military ID, U.S. Permanent Resident Card. Learner's Permit, Temporary Driver's License or Non-Driver ID may require additional documentation
Photo - 2 x 2" color photo taken within the last 6 months, clear image, full-face view, no eyeglasses, plain white or off-white background. Many places offer passport photo services such as CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart or UPS Stores.
Fees - Various fees are listed above; you can also use the fee calculator online.
While most people can apply for or renew their U.S. passport online, you must apply in person if at least one of the following is true:
You are applying for your first U.S. passport
You are under age 16
Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16
Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago
How long is a passport valid?
How long a passport is valid for actually depends, partly, on your age.
"If you were age 16 or older when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 10 years," Wittenberg explains. "If you were under 16 when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for five years."
When do I need to renew my passport?
It can be tricky to keep track of, but it's important to keep your passport up to date, especially if you travel a lot. If you show up at an airport for an international flight with an expired passport, spoiler alert—you're not getting on the plane.
But what's perhaps even more crucial to take note of is how other countries will look at your passport.
"It is important to note that most countries require that a traveler's U.S. passport be valid for another six months after their final day of international travel," Wittenberg says. "You should plan to renew your passport when you get within one year of the expiration date."
Can I use a passport card for international travel?
A passport card is a separate entity from a passport book, however, it cannot be used for the same purposes while traveling.
According to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepts the passport card as ID for domestic flights only—with a few exceptions.
"No, a passport card cannot be used for international air travel," Wittenberg states. "A passport card may be used for domestic air travel or entering the United States at the land border crossings and sea ports of entry from: Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda."
Patricia Wittenberg, travel specialist and travel agency owner at 4 Star Traveler