7 FAM 1300 Appendix G
PASSPORT FEES

(CT:CON-640;   03-03-2016)
(Office Of Origin:  CA/PPT/S/A)

7 fam 1310 Appendix g  INTRODUCTION TO PASSPORT FEES

(CT:CON-640;   03-03-2016)

a. Most consular fees are established on a basis of cost recovery and in a manner consistent with general user charges principles (see, for example, 31 U.S.C. 9701).  The Department (CA/C) reviews consular fees periodically to determine the appropriateness of each fee in light of applicable provisions of the Office for Management and Budget’s OMB Circular A-25 (Revised), which establishes Federal executive branch policy for assessing fees for Government services that convey special benefits to recipients beyond those accruing to the general public.  In conjunction with the user changes statute (31 U.S.C. 9701), it provides information on the scope and types of activities subject to user charges and on the basis upon which user charges are to be set.  Finally, it provides guidance for agency implementation of charges and the disposition of collections.

b. The passport application fee established pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 214(a) recovers the costs of processing applications for passport books and cards that are not included in the enhanced border security fee.  The passport book application processing fee also recovers costs of certain overseas citizens services for which there is no specific, separate fee or for which the separate fee is set below cost.  The fee appears at Item 2 in the consular schedule of fees, 22 CFR 22.1.

c.  The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) surcharge fee, established pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 214(b)(1), is embedded in the passport application fee to cover the costs of meeting the increased demand for passports  as a result of WHTI.

d. The expedite fee (see 22 CFR 51.56), established pursuant to the Department’s authority to establish passport fees under 22 U.S.C. 214 and its general authority to establish fees under 31 U.S.C. 9701, recovers the costs of expedited passport processing.  The passport expedite fee is applicable only to passports applied for on an expedite basis at U.S. passport agencies and centers.  The fee is not applicable for passport applications submitted to posts abroad.  The fee appears at Item 3 in the consular schedule of fees, 22 CFR 22.1.

e. The enhanced border security surcharge fee (also known as the passport security surcharge), established pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1714 and amended administratively pursuant to Public Law 109-472, recovers the costs related to consular services in support of enhanced border security.  The fee appears at Item 2(g) of the consular schedule of fees, 22 CFR 22.1.

f.  The file search fee, established pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 9701, is charged when a customer does not provide primary or secondary citizenship evidence and requests in writing that a previous U.S. passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad record be verified in order to establish citizenship for the issuance of his or her passport.  The fee is not applicable for passport applications submitted to posts abroad if a passport has been lost, stolen, or in the event that a fee exemption is applicable.  The fee appears at item 6 of the consular schedule of fees, 22 CFR 22.1.  (See 7 FAM 1350 Appendix I, "Verification of Passport and Other U.S. Citizen Consular Records," for specific guidance on charging the file search fee).

g. The passport execution fee, established pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 214(a), is charged to passport applicants applying on Form DS-11 to recover the costs of executing the passport application, such as administering the oath, verifying the applicant’s identity, and transmitting the applications.  The fee appears at Item 1 of the consular schedule of fees, 22 CFR 22.1.

NOTE:  The execution fee must be paid at the time of application execution (22 CFR 51.51).

h. All passport fees outlined in 7 FAM 1320 Appendix G (with the exception of the Passport Book Overnight Delivery fee) for applications accepted by facilities in the U.S. territories listed below are retained by the governments of those particular jurisdictions:

(1)  Guam (48 U.S.C. 1421h);

(2)  The U.S. Virgin Islands (48 U.S.C. 1642); and

(3)  The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (48 U.S.C. 1801).

7 fam 1320 Appendix g  Current passport fees

(CT:CON-640;   03-03-2016)

a. Current passport application processing and optional service fees are published in 22 CFR 22.1 and are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Web page. 

b. Domestic and Foreign Postal Fees:

(1)  A portion of the security surcharge covers the cost of upgrading passport delivery from first class mail to traceable U.S. Post Office Priority Mail with delivery confirmation for domestic applicants;

(2)  A portion of the security surcharge fee that is paid by passport applicants overseas covers the cost of shipping the completed passports from domestic passport centers to posts overseas by express courier;

(3)  The security surcharge does not cover overseas mailing costs from the overseas posts to the applicant (see also 7 FAM 1345.3-2(H) regarding First Class mail to Canada).  Posts should assess the quality and reliability of the local postal system to ensure that passports can be delivered securely.  If a post is satisfied as to the safety and reliability of the host government mail system, post may use post funds to cover the cost of mailing passports back to local applicants by the equivalent of first-class mail.  Applicants who desire a higher level of service would pay the full cost of that service.

(4)  If the normal host government postal system is found to be lacking, CA/C will, upon justification, fund an appropriately secure delivery method; i.e., registered mail or courier delivery.  Post should direct questions to the appropriate regional management analyst in CA/C.

c.  File Search Fee:

(1)  The file search fee is not charged to applicants applying overseas whose previous passport was lost or stolen or in the event that a fee exemption is applicable (22 CFR 22.1).

(2)  See 7 FAM 1350 Appendix I for more information on when a file search fee may be charged.

7 fam 1330 Appendix g  passport fee Refunds

(CT:CON-640;   03-03-2016)

a. Execution fee:  The passport execution fee is generally not refundable.  See the exceptions listed in 7 FAM 1350 Appendix G (22 CFR 22.6, 22 CFR 51.51 paragraph (b); 22 CFR 51.52; 22 CFR 51.55).

b. Passport application Fee:  The passport fee is an application processing fee and is retained whether or not the passport is issued.  If it is determined that a passport cannot be issued given the documentation submitted, the passport fee is not refundable.  See the exceptions listed in 7 FAM 1350 Appendix G (22 CFR 22.6, 22 CFR 51.52, 22 CFR 51.53) and 7 FAM 1300 Appendix P.

c.  Security surcharge:  The security surcharge is also considered to be an application processing fee and is retained whether or not the passport is issued.  If it is determined that a passport cannot be issued, the security surcharge is not refundable.  See the exemptions listed in 7 FAM 1350 Appendix G (22 CFR 51.62).

d. Expedite fee:  The passport expedite fee, which is only charged by passport agencies/centers, will be refunded only upon written request from the applicant if the passport agency/center does not provide the requested expedited processing as defined by the Department’s regulations (22 CFR 51.56).  See also 7 FAM 1330 Appendix L regarding refunds if the applicant dies during the passport application process.

NOTE:  If an expedited application is suspended, upon applicant response the application will be given the same priority as a newly-received expedited application and processed accordingly.

e. Overnight passport book delivery fee:  The overnight passport book delivery fee is refunded only upon written request from the applicant if the service is not provided (e.g., if the applicant has emergency travel and picks up a passport from the public counter).

f.  File search fee:  The file search fee is refunded if it was charged in error, e.g., the applicant submitted both the file search fee and primary or secondary evidence of citizenship.

g. Refunds for $5.00 or less:  A refund may be processed for actions of $5.00 or less only if specifically requested by the applicant at the time of the payment (22 CFR 22.6(b)).

7 fam 1340 Appendix g  Refund Procedures for passport fees and overpayments

(CT:CON-640;   03-03-2016)

a. With the exception of overpayment refunds, refund requests must be received in writing.

b. Refund of overpayment procedures:  This section applies to refunds of greater than $5.00 unless requested per 7 FAM 1330 Appendix G.  A written request is not required to refund overpayments of greater than $5.00.  You must take the following steps to refund amounts of $5.00 or greater:

(1)  Review the comment from the cashier requesting that an overpayment be processed;

(2)  Review the application to verify that the applicant is not requesting additional services and has actually overpaid.  If the over-payment exactly matches the charge for an additional product/service, it may be possible that the applicant was requesting that service;

NOTE:  It is not acceptable to re-designate funds, e.g., to add expedited delivery, without the consent of the applicant.

(3)  Verify the amount of overpayment;

(4)  In, or near, the fee block on the first page of the application, record the amount to be refunded, the reason, and your TDIS number:

(5)  Photocopy the first page of the application, ensuring that the fee information at the bottom is visible:

(a)  The photocopy must be shredded in accordance with section I of the Internal Controls Guide for Employees after management has completed the verification of the spreadsheet; and

(b)  If a photocopy of the first page of the passport application is not made, passport agencies/center may create a shared folder containing a spreadsheet where the passport specialist must record the passport application number, the applicant's last name and date of birth, and the amount and reason for the refund.  CS staff can then copy and paste the information into the CA/C weekly spreadsheet and fill out the rest of the fields.

(6)  Add a comment indicating that the application was set up for a refund or that the applicant authorized a re-designation of funds (see 7 FAM 1340 Appendix G paragraph b(2)).  If the applicant authorized a re-designation of funds in writing, the passport specialist must add a comment in TDIS;

(7)  Reallocate the overpayment amount to "Miscellaneous" via the CSOP module and obtain management approval to override the fee issue, if required;

NOTE:  The TDIS miscellaneous fee approval amount must be set to $25 at the National Passport Center and Western Passport Center, and $5 at all other passport agencies/centers.

(8)  Forward the photocopy (if made) of the first page of the application to the Customer Service Manager (CSM)/communications office, following agency/center procedures (see 7 FAM 1341.3).

(9)  The CSM/communications office will process the refund in accordance with the guidance provided in chapter 14 of the Customer Service Guide using the CA-C-FMD-Refunds@state.gov e-mail address.

c.  Refund of Fees Procedures:  The written request for a refund of fees, whether received via mail, fax, email, or at the public counter, must be forwarded to the CSM/communications office and handled in accordance with the guidance provided in chapter 14 of the Customer Service Guide.

d. Refund of Fees must be overseen in accordance with Section 2.19 of the Internal Controls Guide for Employees.

7 fam 1350 Appendix g  Fee waivers and exemptions

(CT:CON-640;   03-03-2016)

a. Acceptance facilities waive the execution fee when a Form DS-11 is re-executed at the same acceptance facility.

b. 22 CFR 51.52 defines who is exempt from passport fees (including execution fees) (see 7 FAM 1360 and 7 FAM 1390).  This includes:

NOTE:  If fees were accepted for an applicant who is exempt from passport fees, the fees must be refunded in accordance with 7 FAM 1340 Appendix G.

(1)  An officer or employee of the United States proceeding abroad on official business, or the members of her/his immediate family authorized to accompany or reside with him or her abroad (22 U.S.C. 214);

(2)  A U.S. citizen sailor who requires a passport in connection with her/his duties aboard a U.S. flagged vessel (22 U.S.C. 214);

(3)  A widow(er), child, parent, brother, or sister of a deceased U.S. service member proceeding abroad to visit the grave of such service member (22 U.S.C. 214);

(4)  An employee of the United Seamen's Service who requires a passport for travel to assume or perform duties thereof (10 U.S.C. 2604);

(5)  Peace Corps volunteers (22 U.S.C. 2504);

(6)  American Red Cross employee for travel outside the United States to assume or perform duties (10 U.S.C. 2602);

(7)  An individual or individuals abroad, returning to the United States, when the Secretary determines that waiving the collection of such fee is justified for humanitarian reasons or for law enforcement purposes (22 U.S.C. 214(a), as revised by Section 5 of the Department Of State Authorities Act Of 2006):

(a)  Repatriates:  Emergency, limited-validity (for direct return to the United States) passports issued at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad in conjunction with a repatriation loan;

(b)  Victims of Disasters and Evacuees:  Emergency, limited-validity passports issued at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad during period of international disaster or crisis for return to the United States (see 7 FAM 370, 7 FAM 1330, 7 FAM 1365, 7 FAM 1380, and 7 FAM 1860);

(c)  Returning Victims of Serious Crime:  Emergency, limited-validity passports issued at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad to U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals who are victims of serious crime such as terrorism victims, hostages, and victims of sexual assault, whose passports were lost or stolen, and who are returning to the United States; and

(d)  Deportees, Extraditees and Transferring Prisoners:  Limited-validity (for direct return to the United States) passports issued at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad to U.S. citizens or U.S. non-citizen nationals who are under law enforcement escort for deportation, extradition, or prisoner transfer to the United States.

(8)  Other categories of persons exempted by law.

c.  Security Surcharge.  If an applicant is exempt from paying the passport application and execution fees, as provided in 7 FAM 1350 Appendix G, she/he is also exempt from paying the security surcharge.

d. File Search fee.  The applicant is exempt from paying the file search fee:

(1)  If the applicant is applying overseas because a passport was lost or stolen abroad; or

(2)  If the applicant is exempt from paying the passport and execution fees, as provided in 7 FAM 1350 Appendix G; or

(3)  In circumstances specified in 7 FAM 1350 Appendix I.

e. Replacement passports.  A replacement passport may be issued without payment of the execution, passport, security surcharge, and expedite fees:

(1)  In circumstances specified in 7 FAM 1320 Appendix W, 7 FAM 1330 Appendix W, and 7 FAM 1341 Appendix W (see 22 CFR 51.56d); or

(2)  In circumstances specified in 22 CFR 51.54.

f.  Expedite fee:

(1)  The Department may decline to accept an expedited passport processing request (22 CFR 51.56).  The Department may refuse to accept an expedite fee request in circumstances that include, but are not limited to, the following:

NOTE:  The Department will not charge the fee for expedited passport processing if the Department’s error, mistake, or delay caused the need for expedited passport processing (22 CFR 51.56).

(a)  The passport application is pending action by an office other than the passport agency/center;

(b)  The passport application has already been in process longer than the routine passport processing time as stated on travel.state.gov;

(c)  The passport agency/center cannot provide the requested service; or

(d)  Processing is sufficiently advanced that expedited processing will not move forward the completion date.

(2)  The Special Issuance Agency (CA/PPT/SIA) does not charge the expedite fee when a passport application for a regular passport is submitted in conjunction with a passport application for an official or diplomatic passport.

NOTE:  CA/PPT/SIA did not charge the file search fee between May 21, 2009 and March 12, 2015.

7 fam 1360 Appendix g  Acceptable forms of payment

(CT:CON-640;   03-03-2016)

a. If an applicant is unable to provide an acceptable form of payment after the application has been executed at the public counter, the application must be suspended until payment is received (see Section 2.6 of the Internal Controls Guide for Employees).

b. In emergency travel situations, appropriate members of management may approve an overpayment and process a refund in accordance with 7 FAM 1340 Appendix G.  Otherwise, except as provided below, no over-payments may be accepted at the public counter.

c.  All fees must be paid in U.S. currency (see exception for posts below).

d. At passport agencies/centers – payment may be made by:

(1)  U.S. currency (if presented at the public counter) – Applicants paying by cash must provide the exact amount.  Passport employees cannot make change;

(2)  Check – personal, traveler’s, certified, cashier’s, or commercial – payable through a U.S. financial institution based in the United States.  Temporary, starter, or filled-in bank counter checks are not acceptable because they do not meet the criteria in section 2.6 of the Internal Controls Guide for Employees.  You must record the application number(s) on the check;

NOTE:  The date of birth of the applicant(s) must be listed on all checks submitted at an acceptance facility.

(a)  If a check (or money order) that appears to be foreign is submitted as payment at the public counter, passport specialists must manually verify that the check or money order is drawn on a U.S. financial institution based in the United States by verifying that the routing number (which appears first in the magnetic ink character recognition line of the check or money order) consists of nine consecutive digits:

(b)  If a check (or money order) that appears to be foreign is submitted as payment at the public counter, cashiers may further verify whether a check or money order is payable through a U.S. financial institution using the Federal Reserve Bank Services e-payments Routing Directory.  To use the e-payments routing directory, agree to the terms and conditions, select the “search FedACH participant RDFIs” link, and search using the routing number;

(c)  If a foreign check (or money order) is received with a fee issue passport application from the lockbox (or for a counter expedited mail out application that is not detected until cashiering), a passport specialist or other designated staff member must reject it and request another, acceptable form of payment.  The unacceptable foreign check or money order must be returned to the sender with Information Request Letter 795-07.  Passport agencies/centers must void foreign checks, but do not void foreign money orders.  Voiding a money order prevents the purchaser from cashing it; it must be returned as is.  Refund requests because of foreign money orders lost in the mail while be returned to the applicant will not be honored; and

(d)  If the passport application is a Form DS-11, the customer service manager must also be notified that a foreign check or money order was received, so appropriate tracking, outreach, and training may be conducted with the acceptance agent/facility.

(3)  Major credit card - Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card;

(a)  Debit cards displaying the Visa or MasterCard logo are acceptable forms of payment.

(b)  Pre-paid credit cards or gift cards displaying the Visa or MasterCard logo are acceptable forms of payment.  In addition to standard documentation requirements (see 7 FAM 1344.3), the applicant’s name must be manually recorded on the Point of Sale (POS) receipt.

(4)  Third-party credit card – a credit card submitted by anyone other than the primary applicant or the parent of a minor child (see Section 2.7 of the Internal Controls Guide for Employees); or

(5)  Money order - U.S. Postal, commercial, international, currency exchange.  You must record the application number on the money order.  If a money order that appears to be foreign is submitted, see the guidance above regarding foreign checks.

e. At Domestic Acceptance Facilities – Payment may be made by:

(1)  Check – personal, traveler’s, certified, cashier’s; or

(2)  Money order - U.S. Postal, commercial, international, currency exchange.

f.  At Overseas Posts (see 7 FAH-1 H-700) - Payment may be made by:

(1)  Check - traveler’s, certified, or cashier’s.  Personal checks are not acceptable;

(2)  U.S. or local currency - if presented directly at post (currency should not be mailed);

(3)  Major credit card - Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover at designated/authorized posts; or

(4)  Money order - U.S. Postal, commercial, international, currency exchange.

7 fam 1370 Appendix g  Insufficient Funds

(CT:CON-640;   03-03-2016)

a. A returned check processing fee is applied to all returned checks per 22 CFR 22.1.

b. Returned Prior to Issuance:  If the check is returned prior to issuance of the passport, the application will be suspended for the required fees.  If payment is not received within 90 days, the application may be denied per 7 FAM 1381.2.

c.  Returned After Issuance: If the check is returned after issuance of the passport, Passport Services will take action to collect the debt in accordance with 4 FAM 493.

d. See also Section 2.6 of the Internal Controls Guide for Employees.

7 fam 1380 Appendix g  Procedures and Management controls for fee collection and refunds

(CT:CON-640;   03-03-2016)

a. Refer to 7 FAH-2 H-623 and the Internal Controls Guide for Employees for procedures for passport agencies/centers regarding the collection and handling of fees.

b. Posts abroad should refer to the 7 FAH-1 and the CA/EX Consular Management Issues Intranet page.

7 FAM 1390 Appendix G  unassigned