The cost of travel, an industry that has been impacted in a negative way by fuel prices in recent years, will take a hit from Uncle Sam on Tuesday.
Effective July 13, fees for passports, passport cards and visa pages will go up.
The cost for a new adult passport will be $135, up from the previous fee of $100. For children under the age of 16, the passport will cost $105, up from $85.
The renewal fee for passports is also going up $35 to $110. For frequent travelers, extra pages that can be added to the back of your passport book will now cost $82. Previously extra pages were issued at no charge whatsoever.
Lori Dover, owner of Travel Leaders, 105 Redmond Road, said that a lot of people had already shifted travel plans to go to places that don’t require passports. “It’s been hard to find availability in Puerto Rico because they’ve already been overwhelmed,” Dover said. Puerto Pico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John are all U.S. territories in the Caribbean.
Passport cards, which allow U.S. citizens to travel to Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada and Bermuda, will now cost $55 for adults, up from $40 while those under the age of 16 will pay $40, up from $35. Renewal cards for adults will cost $30.
Dover said that even before the fee increase was announced, people had already started to crowd the U.S. territories in the Caribbean because they didn’t want to have to pay for a passport in the first place.
Dover has been advising travelers of the impending increase for several weeks. “Nobody has acted like they needed to get a passport application submitted in a hurry to beat the fee increase,” Dover said. “It’s just another fee that has been added to the list.”
Travelers in recent years have been hammered with add-on fees such as the baggage fees now charged by airlines and the gas surcharges being imposed by the large cruise ships.