The fee hike, the State Department says, is due to the increased cost of processing applications. “The proposed $10 increase to $35, from the current fee of $25, is in line with cost increases for both the Department and United States Postal Service during the past nine years,” according to a final rule recently published in the Federal Register.
While most people think of the post office as the place to get a passport, there are actually many other places that handle the paperwork—“approximately 7,400” in all, according to the final rule. The majority of “passport applications are executed before a U.S. Postal Service passport acceptance agent,” according to a State Department announcement of the change, but “many are executed before state and local government officials as well. Approximately 10 percent of in-person passport applications are executed before a Department of State official.” You can also apply at travel industry events, like the Los Angeles Travel Show, where Hilton is sponsoring a passport application pop-up with State Department officials on hand to help with questions.