One of the most common questions about passport pertain to the cost associated with getting a passport (how much is a passport?). The fee structure for getting a passport is really quite simple. There are (2) main components the passport fee itself and the acceptance agent fee. There are additional fees which we will also cover but they are not as common.

Acceptance Agent Fee

An acceptance agent is an authorized individual (usually a government employee or US Postal Service employee) that will witness your signature on certain types of passport applications, verify that your documents are in order, and seal the documents for submission to the passport agency. The fee for all acceptance agent services is $25. Only New Passport Applications, Lost / Stolen / Damaged Passport Applications, Second Passport Applications, and Child Passport Applications need to be taken to an acceptance agent. All of these types of passport applications require you to use a DS-11, so as a general rule of thumb if you are using passport form DS-11, you need to visit an acceptance agent and pay the $25 acceptance agent fee. Acceptance agent fees are paid directly to the acceptance agent, US Passport Service, your local clerk of the Court, etc…. You can usually pay this fee with cash, check, money order, or credit/debit card depending on the location. View a complete list of passport offices near you with acceptance agents.

Passport Application Fee

Passport book application fees will vary depending on whether the applicant is an adult or child. For adult applicants the passport fee is $110, for child applicants the passport fee is $80. All passport fees are paid by check or money order made payable to “US Department of State”. The cost for passport cards is either $15 or $30 again dependent on whether the applicant is a child or an adult.

Passport Photos

With all passport applications you will need to send new passport photos. The fees for passport photos will vary depending on where you get them taken but they are typically around $8 – $13. Many acceptance agents also have the ability to take and print your passport photos on site, so be sure to check the passport office list for details.

How much does a passport cost?

Passport Fee
Expedite Fee
Acceptance Agent Fee
Total Government Fee
New Passport Adult Age 16 And Older
$110
$60
$25
$135 – Standard
$195 – Expedited
New Passport Child Age 15 And Younger
$80
$60
$25
$105 – Standard
$165 – Expedited
Lost / Stolen / Damaged
$110 (adult)
$60
$25
$135 – Standard
$195 – Expedited
Passport Card Only 1st Time
$15 (child)
$30 (adult)
$25
$40 (child)
$55 (adult)
Passport Renewal
$110
$60
$110 – Standard
$170 – Expedited
Add Passport Pages (no longer available)
Second Passport
$110
$60
$25
$110 – Standard
$170 – Expedited

Passport Expedite Fee

Expedite Fees are optional and are only required if you choose to get your passport quicker than the standard processing time of 4-6 weeks. The cost to expedite a passport is $60 with the US Government and if using a third-party expediter, you will also be required to pay their fees which vary depending on which service you use and how fast you to choose to have your passport expedited.

File Search Fee

The official US Department of State definition is as follows “A File Search Fee is required when a customer cannot provide primary citizenship evidence and requests in writing that a previous U.S. passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad record be verified in order to establish citizenship for the issuance of his or her passport.” – Basically if you had a passport in the past either it was lost or has expired more than 5 years, lost your original citizenship paperwork, and need a passport. The fee for this is $150.

Passport Shipping Fees

If applying for a passport with standard service then standard shipping is included in the cost. You can optionally ask for a passport to be sent back with a faster shipping method and the government cost for this is $20.66. If you are using an expedited passport service the expediter will charge you a fee for both the inbound and return shipping via FedEx.

Common Questions About Passport Fees

Can I get a passport for free?

Usually no. However you might want to try contacting your local congressperson, they do have the authority to grant free passports through a special issuance office.

How much does the government make on Passport Fees?

With more than 13.9 million passport books issued in 2015 and 1.65 million passport books, some simple math tells us that passports accounted for at least 1.5 billion USD in revenue. Of course this is a ball park and I haven't seen any actual breakdown from the Department of State for the passport fees collected. This figure does not include expedite fees or file search fees. The 1.5 Billion figure assumes all 13.9 million passports were adult passports and none were child or free passports. I also did not include revenue generated from passport cards.