Cost of U.S. passports to increase
Prices to obtain U.S. passports will soon be a little higher.
Joann Behrens, Carbon County's prothonotary, recently released the Department of State's new schedule of fees for consular services in the federal register. The changes are schedule to take effect on July 13.
The schedule changes include fees for passports, immigrant visas and other consular services.
According to the new schedule of fees, anyone applying for a U.S. Passport Book for the first time will pay a total of $135 for individuals over 16 years of age and $105 for children age 15 and younger. The new prices represent a $35 increase for adults and a $20 increase for children.
People applying for the U.S. Passport Card will be charged a total of $55 for adults and $40 for children. This represents a $10 increase for adults and $5 increase for children.
Individuals renewing their passport cards and books will be charged $110 for renewing the book and $30 for renewing the card.
Other service fees that will be affected include additional visa pages, $82; file search fee, $150; and expediate processing, $60.
Passport fees for adults who are eligible to apply by mail using form DS-82, are $110 for the passport book and $30 for the passport card.
Area residents who are in need of passports can apply at Behrens' office, located on the first floor in the Carbon County courthouse in Jim Thorpe.
To obtain a U.S. passport, a person must be a citizen of the United States; provide a valid, certified birth record and identification card, such as a driver's license or military ID card; and have two, two-inch by two-inch passport photographs. The government urges applicants to apply for a passport at least two months before a scheduled trip.
Those born before 1974, must also first obtain a valid birth record before applying.
Behrens said in a previous interview that the birth record cannot be a hospital birth record or say "notification" on it. If it does, it's incorrect.
If you do not have a certified birth record, you must request one from the state.
To request a birth record from the state, you can send in the required paperwork or visit state Rep. Keith McCall's office in Lansford or Lehighton to apply for the record. This process usually takes about 10 business days and costs $10. Veterans are issued certified birth records at no charge.
For more information on the upcoming passport changes, check the status of a passport application, or for a complete listing of requirements, visit the state's Web site at www.travel.state.gov; the U.S. Customs and Border Control's Web site at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go; or the WHTI Web site at www.getyouhome.gov.