WASHINGTON - Starting Dec. 27, U.S. passports will get more expensive after the State Department imposed a $20 hike for the books.
"The increased fee is necessary to ensure we continue to produce one of the most secure travel and identity documents in the world," the department posted on Twitter.
Before the imposed hikes, the cost for adults to obtain a book for the first time or to renew a book by mail costs $110. Books for minors, children under the age of 16, cost $80. That’s in addition to other fees.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at rebuilding the public’s trust in government by making it easier to do things like renew passports, apply for Social Security benefits and get aid after natural disasters.
For travelers, Americans will be able to renew their passports online instead of having to print forms and pay with a paper check or money order. New security machines and computers with advanced screening features are to streamline the process of going through security lines for the roughly 2 million people who fly daily.
Processing time for a passport application could take up to 11 weeks while the expedited process could take up to seven weeks. Over the summer, the State Department said the wait time could take up to 18 weeks because of ripple effects from the coronavirus pandemic that caused extreme disruptions to the process at domestic issuance facilities and overseas embassies and consulates.
"We really encourage folks to apply for or renew their passport at least six months ahead of when you’ll need one to avoid any of those last-minute problems," Rachel Arndt, deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services, previously said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.