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Why You Need to Apply for a Passport ASAP

Passports are already expensive—and now they’re about to cost even more.

If you don’t have a passport, listen up. Starting April 2, there will be a price increase on passport applications for first-time adult applicants, children under 16, and people who need to reapply for a lost or stolen passport.

The execution fee—which goes toward the post offices, public libraries, and other places that provide passport services—will go up from $25 to $35 in order to cover the cost of processing applications. Because of this, a new adult passport will set you back a $145 (valid for 10 years) while a child’s passport—for kids under 16—will be $115 (valid for five years).

There are ways to avoid paying the price, however. Anyone who has a passport or passport card that expires soon can renew it by mail to waive the raised charge.

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Considering a passport card instead of a blue book? You may pay a lot less, but you’ll still have to fork over the new fee. This means that adult passport cards will come in at $65, and a child’s card will be $50. You should also keep in mind that passport cards only allow you to travel by car or ship to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, whereas regular passports can be used for international travel by air, land, or sea.

And for those who may be affected by the REAL ID Act—which, as of January 2018, made some driver’s licenses invalid for domestic flights—don’t mess around about getting a passport. You could need one just to leave the state.

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