Passport fees to increase

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2002

An upcoming increase in passport costs is mainly due to state coverage of consular costs, Second Judicial Circuit Clerk Allen Stephenson said Tuesday.

The current price of a passport for an individual age 16 or over is $60 while the price for an individual under the age of 16 is $45. As of August 19, the price for a passport for an individual over age 16 will be $85 while the price for a passport for an individual under age 16 will be $70.

A passport for an individual over age 16 is good for ten years and a passport for an individual under age 16 is good for five years.

Stephenson said the costs are being changed due to the Department of the State's requirement of covering true consular service fees. He said the last change in passport costs was in February of 1998 when the prices decreased somewhat due to automation.

According to a press release from the Department of the State, that department is required by law to recover the true costs of consular services, including passport application fees, through client fees. "The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines requires periodic review to ensure recovery of costs. The most recent review was accomplished with the assistance of an outside contractor in October, 2001."

Stephenson said this increase comes after several years time. "There has been quite some time since there has been an increase," Stephenson said. "The under age 16 passports are good for five years and those for over 16 are good for 10 years, so it's still a good deal."

Passport issuance takes an average of six weeks and, in case of emergencies, an additional fee can get a passport in about two weeks.

For more information, contact Allen Stephenson at 382-7166.