Passport fees are going up

Passport fees are going up

WASHINGTON (NBC) - The new rates for passports are quite hefty but if you act now, there's still time to avoid the higher fees. First-time passports go from $100 to $135, renewals from $75 to $110.

Even if you want more pages in your passport, a service that used to be free, will now cost $82.

The new rates take effect Tuesday which first-timers can avoid by getting to one of the 9,400 acceptance facilities around the country like your county courthouse or local post office.

Brenda Sprague of the U.S. State Department says "because you do have to apply in person the first time"

Those wanting just to renew can do so by mail by midnight Monday.

The still relatively new requirement that you have a passport, for like Caribbean cruises, has increased demand and costs.

Ms. Sprague says "you now must present a document that establishes both your identity and citizenship in order to enter and leave the United states from Canada, Mexico and the islands of the Caribbean. Prior to this you were able to do that just on a birth certificate."

One more catch: An expired or soon to be expired passport is the last thing you want when jetting off to a country that accepts only passports that are at least six months away from expiration.

More info on passports can be found at the website: