Now that we HAVE to have a passport to visit Mexico or Canada, something we didn't need in the past, the Feds are going to use that as an excuse to shake us down for more revenue!
Daily Deal Blog
If you’re planning a foreign trip this year, here’s my advice: Get or renew your passport now. That’s because if the U.S. State Department has its way, passport application fees will soon take a big jump.
Under a proposed rule published Feb. 9 in the Federal Register, adults would pay $135, up from the current $100, to apply for a passport and $110, up from $75, to renew one. Minors (under age 16) would pay $105, up from $85, for a passport. Fees would also increase by $5 to $10 for the cheaper passport cards, and a new fee, $82, would be charged for adding extra visa pages to passport books — a service that is now free of charge.
The fee increases are not a done deal. But in its Federal Register statement, the State Department says it “intends to implement this proposed rule, and initiate collection of the fees … as soon as practicable” following the 30 days allowed for public comment and “after the Department has had the opportunity to fully consider any public comments received.”
So it looks like you have until around March 9 or 10, depending on how the date is figured, to make your views known to the government, which you can do online. At 11:30 a.m. Thursday, I was waiting to hear back from department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs on calls I had placed a couple of hours earlier to clarify the date and the reasons for the fee increases
But in its proposed rule, the department says, essentially, that it wants to raise fees to cover increasing costs. It says it based the increases on a survey that it contracted to review the costs of providing services that the fees cover, including processing applications, providing border security and aiding U.S. citizens overseas.
—Jane Engle, assistant Los Angeles Times Travel editor