You Must Pay Much More for an American Passport

Comments

1
Thanks for the heads-up.
2
Somebody's gotta pay for all that extra security, do they think money grows on trees? Police states do not come free LOL
3
hmm. shit becoming more expensive. not blogworthy.
4
Interestingly, the dictatorships in Africa that I lived in used to make passports expensive/hard to get in order to discourage travel. That way, everyone in Gabon, for exampele could believe that they had it better than people in much poorer countries like Burkina. Having been to both those places, I can tell you that wasn't the case; Gabon's riches have been looted by the elite whereas at least some of Burkina's small amount of resources has made it to the people in the form of paved roads and rudimentary health clinics (both of which are lacking in the Gabon countryside).

One could draw some parallels about this... the more US citizens travel and see that, no, we really aren't the most free and the most prosperous country on earth, the more we might start to question our system.
5
yeah it cost me almost $400 to renew my green card (including fingerprinting fees)
6
Yeah, thanks for the tip. Mine expires in August. Looks like I'll be renewing it this week.
7
See America First! Disney World is just like all those overseas experiences, anyway.
8
we've been underpaying the true costs of passports for years; this just makes it less of a money-losing proposition.

japan: $190
germany: $80
mexico: $125 (renewing the 2-year passport 5 times @ $25)

omfg cancelled, no conspiracy here.
9
If you travel enough to need more pages you can afford the 82 bucks.
10
Also known as a tax cut...
11
$135 for 10 years? yea that extra $3.50 a year can be made up by skipping one latte a year.
12
The Identity Project writes

State Dept. brushes off critics, raises passport fees

Yesterday the Department of State published an interim final rule putting its previously proposed increases in passport and visa fees into effect as of July 13, 2010.


The State Department admitted that more than 98% of the comments received from individual members of the public were opposed to the fees, as were comments from the travel industry and from the Identity Project and other consumer and ….  But the State Department brushed off those objections (failing even to acknowledge our complaint that the rulemaking violated US international treaty obligations on freedom of movement, or our complaint and those of travel companies that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act) and finalized the proposed fee increases unchanged.  No consideration was given to their economic impact on self-employed or freelance business travelers, despite the requirement for such an assessment under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.



Unless the interim final rule is challenged in court (perhaps by travel companies, on APA grounds), fees for new or renewal passports and “passport cards” will all increase for applications received by the Passport Office on or after July 13, 2010.  The most extreme increase will be for adding blank visa pages to a current passport, currently a free service for which a new fee of $82 will be imposed.  If your passport might fill up before it expires, apply for new pages now.

13
The Identity Project writes:

State Dept. brushes off critics, raises passport fees

Yesterday the Department of State published an interim final rule putting its previously proposed increases in passport and visa fees into effect as of July 13, 2010.


The State Department admitted that more than 98% of the comments received from individual members of the public were opposed to the fees, as were comments from the travel industry and from the Identity Project and other consumer and ….  But the State Department brushed off those objections (failing even to acknowledge our complaint that the rulemaking violated US international treaty obligations on freedom of movement, or our complaint and those of travel companies that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act) and finalized the proposed fee increases unchanged.  No consideration was given to their economic impact on self-employed or freelance business travelers, despite the requirement for such an assessment under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.


Unless the interim final rule is challenged in court (perhaps by travel companies, on APA grounds), fees for new or renewal passports and “passport cards” will all increase for applications received by the Passport Office on or after July 13, 2010.  The most extreme increase will be for adding blank visa pages to a current passport, currently a free service for which a new fee of $82 will be imposed.  If your passport might fill up before it expires, apply for new pages now.



See the comments they submitted for lots more on the topic.
14
@12
" No consideration was given to their economic impact on self-employed or freelance business travelers"

Thats because there is none. Assuming they need extra pages they will incur a whole 117 bucks in extra cost every decade. Thats 11.70 a year. Big. Fucking. Deal. If that causes you an economic impact you are probably a pretty shitty business person.
15
@14 you are a compassionate person! Hope we never meet in real life.

For most people I know (most of whom make at least $10K more a year than I do) $135 is a big deal.

My Euro friends are constantly amazed at how few people here have passports. Even before this raise, the most common excuse I heard was "It's too expensive."

I have one "just in case." Maybe I'm an optimist. I get the valid for 10 years one (it's cheaper that way), but only used it four times. (not counting Canadian trips, though there might've been only 2).
16
Its funny, some countries like Brazil hate this shit so they raise their fees for americans applying for visas. The language is really funny too, its all passive aggressive.
17
*yawns and moves on*
18
@16: Giffy, what is most significant is not the increase in fee, but the fee itself. The document IDP submitted states:


When the current passport fees were established, it was still possible (although significantly encumbered) for U.S. citizens to enter or leave the U.S. without a passport or any other government issued identity credentials. Passport issuance laws and regulations were therefore evaluated, both by the Department and by the courts, as pertaining to the issuance of credentials which were not essential for the exercise by U.S. citizens of their rights to cross U.S. borders.


That has changed, however, with the implementation of the “Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative” (WHTI), which requires a passport, passport card, other specified government issued identity credential, or a discretionary waiver of this requirement, as a prerequisite to crossing any U.S. border by any means by any U.S. citizen. See our previous objections to those requirements, “Comments of the Identity Project, Documents Required for Travelers Arriving in the United States at Air and Sea Ports-of- Entry From Within the Western Hemisphere,” USCBP-2006-0097, September 25, 2006, available at , and “Comments of the Identity Project, Documents Required for Travelers Departing From or Arriving in the United States at Sea and Land Ports-of-Entry From Within the Western Hemisphere,” USCBP-2007-0061, August 27, 2007, available at .


The right to assemble and the right to petition for redress of grievances are directly protected by the First Amendment. In the case of U.S. citizens born and/or residing abroad, or U.S. citizens wishing to assemble with U.S. citizens abroad, the exercise of those rights requires crossing U.S. borders. The right to freedom of movement, specifically including both the right to leave any country and the right to return to one's own country, is protected by Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty signed and ratified by, and binding on, the U.S. Executive Order 13107, “Implementation of Human Rights Treaties,” directs all executive departments and agencies to “maintain a current awareness of United States international human rights obligations that are relevant to their functions and... perform such functions so as to respect and implement those obligations fully.”


Now that the U.S. government requires U.S. citizens to have passports for international travel, passport fees must be considered according to the higher standard of justification applicable to regulations which burden the exercise of rights protected by both the First Amendment and the ICCPR, including a showing that the proposed rules are the least restrictive available means of accomplishing a permissible government purpose, and would in fact achieve that purpose.


[...]


Strict scrutiny is required for regulations which, like those proposed by this NPRM, would burden passport issuance and thus the exercise of First Amendment rights. Strict scrutiny requires both a showing of actual effectiveness for a permissible government purpose, and that no less restrictive effective alternative is available: “[T]he court should ask whether the challenged regulation is the least restrictive means among available, effective alternatives.” Ashcroft v. ACLU, 542 U.S. 656 (2004).


With respect to international treaties, Article 12, Section 4, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by the U.S. Senate on April 2, 1992 (138 Congressional Record S4782), provides that, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.”


[...]


The same analysis of the Department’s failure to make or support a showing of necessity applies with respect to this Article 21 as with respect to Sections 2 and 3 of Article 12, as discussed above. The proposed rules thus are inconsistent with Article 21 of the ICCPR as well, and must be withdrawn.


There are clearly less restrictive alternatives to the proposed passport and passport card fee increases: elimination of the RFID chips in the passports, eliminating the need for a fee increase, and/or elimination of the requirement for U.S. citizens to have a passport to enter or leave the U.S. But the Department has failed even to consider the heightened standard of justification required as a consequence of the imposition of the WHTI requirements for government issued identity credentials for U.S. citizens.


Before any fee increase is finalized, the Department must evaluate the proposal against the standard of justification applicable to rules that burden the exercise of rights protected by the First Amendment and the ICCPR, including consideration of these less restrictive alternatives.