It’s the holiday season and you are planning a rightfully deserved week-long trip abroad. All of a sudden your heart sinks when you discover that your passport is about to expire and you have to pay an extra fee for expedited processing – and you still may not get it in time due to several big changes, some of which are already taking place.
Updated features – including a polycarbonate data page, laser engraving, and a reverse thermal transfer process, which involves printing on a laminate – will make the new U.S. passport more secure than ever before, according to the Professional Association for Designs.
All changes are made with one idea in mind – to discourage fraud.
Some aspects of the application process stay the same – there is only one way to apply for or renew a passport online and it is through the State Department. You can also go in person at an eligible local agency like the post office. Children under 16 must apply in person with both parents or legal guardians present. Also, passports for kids are only valid for five years.
The application costs $140 for a passport book and a card ($110 for a passport only and between $30 and $55 for a card). That’s for adults alone; a passport for each minor is another $95, according to the Bureau of Consular Affairs.