LAT - U.S. passport fees set to rise
U.S. passport fees set to rise
By Jane Engle, Los Angeles Times Staff WriterJanuary 29, 2008
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Everything you need to know about U.S. passport rules
The cost of getting a passport will hit $100 starting Friday. The increase is one of a series of changes this week that affect U.S. citizens traveling outside the country.
Saying it needs more money "to cover the cost of providing efficient and secure passport services," the U.S. State Department said today that it will raise passport fees from $97 to $100 for adults and from $82 to $85 for children younger than 16. It said renewals, now $67, would cost $75.
In another change that takes effect Friday, both parents will be required to appear in person -- or one parent in person with required documentation -- when applying for a passport for a child under 16. The current cutoff is age 14. The change is aimed at protecting children from abduction and "to address concerns regarding runaway children," the State Department said.
Starting Friday, the State Department expects to have new forms for downloading from its website, www.travel.state.gov, that can be used to apply for passports and a new passport card, said assistant spokesman Cy Ferenchak. The passport card, expected to be issued in the spring, is a less expensive document that will be accepted for certain border crossings by land or sea.
Ferenchak said the new forms have also been sent to thousands of passport acceptance facilities, such as post offices, throughout the country.
In yet another change, starting Thursday, the government plans to end what it calls "the routine practice of accepting oral declarations alone at land and sea ports of entry." That means that U.S. citizens will be expected to present at least a birth certificate, or other proof of citizenship, plus a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, to cross borders by land or sea.
For an online Q&A on new passport rules, go to latimes.com/passportupdate.