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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2010, 11:05 AM
 
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Totally agree with pink845 comments. We have always carry a passport, even to the stores or banks in case they need ID.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2010, 11:43 AM
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The issue is that up until the recent changes passports were not required unless you traveled beyond North America and the Caribbean. Most Americans (sadly) never have traveled beyond that. So many US citizens never had a need for a passport.

The cost for a passport is now $170 with fees (not $85). So for a family of four that had never traveled outside of the US before, buying a passport for everyone is as much as a cruise fare cost them. It's non trivial. So as long as the birth certificate is allowed to be use instead of a passport, those not wanting to pay for one are not going to bother.

If the cost of a passport was much less (say $50) then things would change. The fact that the birth certificate is still allowed also makes it less likely that people will go out and get a passport too.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:14 PM
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Are you including the $60 expediting fee in that $170? We are getting ready to submit Jacob's adult application and it is $135 for the passport book. My renewal is $110. But that is for the regular turnaround time of 4 to 6 weeks.

Still, for a family of 4 getting first time passports, $540 is a lot of money and telling them to look at it from a 10 year perspective isn't going to fly. If they are expediting them that is $60 extra per passport so it now becomes $780.

The price has become a problem. The State Department claims it is to cover their costs with the new enhanced passport technology, blah blah blah. If the government can approve funds for all the ridiculous stuff like kangaroo rat research, bridges to nowhere, and other inane projects, it can subsidize something as serious as passports.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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It's very dangerous not having a passport. We travel all around the world and have done so for the past 50 years.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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Plus our turn around time is 7 business day, or if you want it in one day, then you have to pay extra.
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:05 PM
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Wow...my feeble mind didn't wrap around the cost especially for a family ...I sure don't remember it costing that much plus, there is only two of us.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2010, 06:31 PM
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Well Tex, they raised the cost and the fees a couple of months ago. We got our kid's passports renewed right before the increase kicked in. Unfortunately that is the cost now.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2010, 07:19 PM
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My wife and I have to renew our passport in November of 2011. What is the renewal cost right now? Is there a discount for seniors?

Sonny
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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To renew, the fee is $110 for an adult passport book. I wouldn't recommend the card. Here is a link to the United States Department of State showing the fees structure.

Also bear in mind, if you say November of 2011, if that's when your current passport expires, you may need to count back six months, and renew it then. If you're doing any foreign travel between now and then, some countries will deny passports if they expire within six months.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2010, 08:19 PM
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Hi, well we went the cheaper route with the passport cards last year when we took our first cruise on Freedom of the Seas. Used the cards on our next two Majesty cruises and will again use them later this week on Oasis (finally). Cost was a huge factor when getting them as the original passports were pricey. Yes I am well aware of the problems with the cards (flying) but for us it was the better choice. I guess I misunderstood the traveling requirements and thought everyone had to have either a passport card or original passport, even for closed loop cruises. Oh well...thanks for the info as our trip next June is with family members (first timers) who will probably just do the photo id and birth certificate thing instead of shelling out the cash. Did I mention Oasis this weekend? :-)
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