Starting April 2, 2018, the Passport Acceptance Agent fee will rise from $25 to $35 at all Passport Acceptance Facilities across the United States. This government fee, also known as an “execution fee,” applies to all passport services that use the DS-11 application form. This includes first-time passports for adults, passports for children, and replacements of lost, stolen, or mutilated passports. The fee increase will not impact the cost of passport renewals for adults.
What is a Passport Acceptance Agent fee?
As part of the process to get your first passport, replace your lost passport, or get a passport for your child, you will need to visit a Passport Acceptance Facility. There you will have your passport application reviewed by a trained government employee. These Passport Acceptance Facilities are often located in Post Offices or courthouses, and sometimes in other government buildings like public libraries.
At the Passport Acceptance Facility, the Passport Acceptance Agent will check that you have completed your passport application correctly and supplied the right supporting documentation. They will also verify your identity by looking at your current driver’s license or other official ID. Finally, they will seal your passport application documents into an envelope that may only be opened by State Department personnel. This process is called “execution.”
The US State Department sets the fee for this service. For many years, the Passport Acceptance Agent fee was $25, but it will soon increase to $35.
Why has the government increased the Passport Acceptance Agent fee?
The US State Department first proposed the $10 increase in execution fees for passports in 2016. They periodically compile a report called a “Cost of Service Model.” The most recent Cost of Service Model showed that it was costing more in labor and overhead to provide the Passport Acceptance service. The $10 fee increase is meant to cover the expense of providing this service, not to provide a profit.
What types of passport service require a Passport Acceptance Agent fee?
You will need to visit a Passport Acceptance Facility and pay the Passport Acceptance Agent fee if you are applying for any of these types of passport service:
- New Adult Passport – This service is for travelers age 16 or over, who either have never been issued a passport as an adult, or whose most recent passport was issued more than 15 years ago.
- Minor Passport – Travelers under age 16 must use the minor passport procedure and visit a Passport Acceptance Agent, whether or not they have been previously issued a passport.
- Passport Replacement – If you need to replace a lost passport or a stolen passport, or if your current passport has been badly damaged, you’ll need to go to a Passport Acceptance Facility as part of the replacement process.
My whole family needs new passports. Do we each have to pay the Passport Acceptance Agent fee?
Yes, the Passport Acceptance Agent fee is charged for each traveler, not per family. That means that if you are visiting the Passport Acceptance Facility because you and your wife and three young children all need new passports, you will be charged five Passport Acceptance Agent fees, one for each of you.
Can I go to the Passport Acceptance Agent now to beat the fee increase, and send my passport application to G3 later?
It’s definitely a good idea to have your passport applications executed now, before the fee increases! However, you must send your sealed envelope with the passport application to G3 as soon as it is executed. Your passport application must be submitted to the Passport Agency within 5 business days of your visit to the Passport Acceptance Agent. If you wait too long to send it to G3, you will have to go back to the Passport Acceptance Facility and have your application re-executed… and you’ll have to pay the fee again!