Having a passport it a wonderful thing. Not only does it allow you to travel to many places in the world but also acts as a recognized government ID across the country (which can come in handy more often than you might think). With that said, if you’ve never applied for a passport before, now is the time to do it as prices will be going up starting April 2nd.
As the Penny Hoarder notes, the “execution fee” that is assessed to first-time applicants will be increasing from $25 to $35 next month. The fee also applies to anyone reapplying for a passport after reporting one as lost or stolen. Incidentally, the execution fee was actually lowered to $25 from $30 back in 2008, but times have certainly changed since then.
Obviously a $10 difference isn’t going to make or break you (hopefully), but it is a nice perk. Additionally, passport fees can really add up depending on which options you choose. For example, you’ll likely need to pay to have special photos taken as there are strict rules regarding the types of pictures used on passports. After that, the application fee itself is $110 for first-timers and renewals, while expedited service on that application will tack on another $60. If you’re applying by mail and want to upgrade to overnight delivery — which is something they actually recommend — that will also cost you an extra $15.89. By the way, it should be noted that springing for overnight delivery will only speed up the time it takes to get you your documents after your passport is processed, but won’t get your application approved any faster.
Even if you don’t have a particular trip abroad planned just yet, there’s little harm in applying for a U.S. passport now. First of all, for those over the age of 16, passports are valid for 10 years from when they are issued, giving you plenty of time to take advantage of them. So while saving $10 might not be a huge incentive to get the process going, perhaps having that passport in hand will help inspire you to set off on that dream trip overseas you’ve always imagined. Happy travels!