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A U.S. passport.
A U.S. passport. (Eileen Putman/AP)

As with everything else this year, the price of passports is going up.

Starting Dec. 27, the cost of a U.S. passport book will rise $20 for all customers, the State Department announced this week. The price for a first-time or replacement adult passport will be $165; a renewal will be $130. The expedited fee, which gets you your passport weeks earlier, will remain $60.

The State Department said the fee increase is “necessary to ensure we continue to produce one of the most secure travel and identity documents in the world.”

Americans are paying more for goods and services in many places, from the gas pump to the grocery store, and apparently government services are not immune. Prices across the United States rose at the fastest pace in nearly 40 years in November.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden signed an executive order allowing Americans to renew their passports online for the first time in an effort to speed up the process. This will eliminate the need for physical documents and paper checks to be sent through the mail.

The passport system has been backlogged because of the coronavirus, causing massive delays for travelers. In October, the State Department said wait times had gone down to a range of eight to 11 weeks, or five to seven weeks for expedited services.

The White House said the order regarding online renewals could take between six to 12 months to take effect.

For now, travelers have to send their documents - and increased fees - through the mail.


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