State Department to raise cost of passports by $20 after Christmas

Cost increase come just two weeks after President Biden announced he had signed an executive order empowering Americans to renew passports online for the first time.

Updated: December 24, 2021 - 9:24am

Inflation is even hitting the State Department, where officials are increasing the cost of a new American passport by $20, effective next week, according to a message on its site Friday.

"On December 27, we will increase our fees for a passport book by $20 for all customers," the department said. "Avoid processing delays and submit the correct amount by checking this webpage on the day you apply or renew."

The department, which has been struggling to keep up with demand in passports, said the price increase  is "necessary to ensure we continue to produce one of the most secure travel and identity documents in the world."

The price increase that takes effect Monday means a first-time or replacement passport will now cost $165, while a renewal will require forking over $130. The additional fee to expedite a passport will remain $60.

The cost increase come just two weeks after President Biden announced he had signed an executive order empowering Americans to renew passports online for the first time, bypassing traditional mail. The new system is expected to take as long as a year to implement.

The passport system has been backlogged by coronavirus, with current wait times averaging eight to 11 weeks for new and renewed travel credentials.