By Kaitlyn Benacquisto
The passport execution fee will be increasing 10 dollars on Monday, April 2.
The execution fee is for the agency that accepts and confirms the passport application. The increased fee is a result of an increased cost of services. The money goes to the specific entity, such as post offices, county clerk offices, libraries and universities, that does the passport execution process. The U.S. Department of State said that the increased cost will encourage these institutions to continue providing passport services.
“The latest Cost of Service Model showed that the costs associated with passport execution were higher than the current fee of $25,” said the U.S. Department of State on their website.
Fees are going up nationwide. Jamie Case, the San Marcos city clerk, said this means that the U.S. Department of State had to take into account the cost of services all over the United States, not just a city such as San Marcos.
“The cost of service could be higher in a place like California, where the cost of living is more expensive and their hourly wages are more than what they would be here. So their cost of service would definitely exceed that current $25,” said Ms. Case.
According to Ms. Case, the fee hasn’t been raised in at least 10 years. While this may annoy some people, the increase makes sense: it accounts for increase in costs of production, postage prices, and things of the like. However, the change could simply be temporary. In 2008, the State Department lowered the previous fee of $30 to $25. There is no saying that a similar situation couldn’t occur again.
Ms. Case said that the city of San Marcos could complete the passport acceptance process with the $25 that was previously charged. However, the $35 will still be charged, and the increased revenue will not go unused. The city offers to review all of the documentation needed for passports for free. They also waive the fee for passport renewal through the mail. Ms. Case says that the extra money will allow them to continue to offer superior customer service through actions such as these.
The change in execution fee will raise the overall price of a passport to $145 for adults and $115 for children. The increased charge is only applicable to those who have to apply for their passport in person. So, if you are already a current passport owner, and simply need to renew your passport via mail, you won’t be affected by the new charges.
More information an in-depth analysis can be found here.
Featured image by Kaitlin Benacquisto.