8 FAM 602.2
(Office of Origin: CA/PPT/S/A)
8 FAM 602.2-1 INTRODUCTION TO PASSPORT FEES
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's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of the Comptroller (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 charges 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, is applicable only to passports applied for on an expedited basis at U.S. passport agencies/centers and acceptance facilities. The expedite fee provides for passport processing within the expedited processing period published on the Department's website. The fee is not applicable for passport applications submitted to posts. 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 or identity evidence and requests in writing that a previous U.S. passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad record be verified to establish citizenship or identity for the issuance of his or her passport. The fee is not applicable for passport applications submitted to posts if a passport was lost or stolen abroad, or if a fee exemption is applicable. The fee appears at item 6 of the Consular Schedule of Fees, 22 CFR 22.1. (See 8 FAM 1201.1 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 8 FAM 602.2-2 (with the exception of the 1-2 Day Delivery Service) 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).
i. For passport fee collection and refunds at posts, refer to 7 FAH-1 H-720, "Consular Fee Collection and Accounting" and the Consular Fee information under the Management tab on CAWeb. The guidance below applies primarily to domestic passport operations.
8 FAM 602.2-2 Current passport fees
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 book 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 covers the cost of shipping the completed passports from passport centers to posts by express courier for applicants overseas;
(3) The security surcharge does not cover overseas mailing costs from posts to the applicant (see 8 FAM 1003.3 for guidance on use of host country postal service or courier systems). Applicants who desire a higher level of service must pay the full cost of that service; and
(4) If the normal host government postal system is found to be lacking, Consular Affairs 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/EX.
c. File search fee:
(1) The file search fee is not charged to applicants applying overseas whose previous passport was lost or stolen abroad or if a fee exemption is applicable (22 CFR 22.1); and
(2) See 8 FAM 1201.1 for more information on when a file search fee may be charged.
d. 1-2 day Delivery Service: The 1-2 Day Delivery Service is charged for any costs of mailing above the normal level of service regularly provided by the Department (see paragraph b above) (see 22 CFR 51.56(c)).
8 FAM 602.2-3 passport fee Refunds
a. Execution fee: The passport execution fee is generally not refundable. See the exceptions listed in 8 FAM 602.2-5 (22 CFR 22.6, 22 CFR 51.51 paragraph (b); 22 CFR 51.52; 22 CFR 51.55).
b. Passport application fee: The passport application fee is a 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 8 FAM 602.2-5 (22 CFR 22.6, 22 CFR 51.52, 22 CFR 51.53) and 8 FAM 706.1.
c. Security surcharge: The security surcharge is also considered to be part of application processing 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 8 FAM 602.2-5 (22 CFR 22.6, 22 CFR 51.52 and 22 CFR 51.53).
d. Expedite fee: The passport expedite fee, which is only charged by passport agencies/centers and acceptance facilities, 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 8 FAM 203.1 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. 1-2 Day Delivery Service The 1-2 day delivery service 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 a processing fee that is retained whether or not a previous U.S. passport or form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth of a U.S. Citizen Abroad, is located. 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 or identity.
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)).
8 FAM 602.2-4 Refund Procedures for passport fees and overpayments
a. Except for refunds of overpayments greater than $5.00 and the passport card refund in 8 FAM 706.1, 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 8 FAM 602.2-3. A written request is not required to refund overpayments of greater than $5.00. You must take the following steps to refund overpayments greater than $5.00:
(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:
(a) If the overpayment exactly matches the fee for an additional product/service, it may be possible that the applicant was requesting that service and you may designate the funds accordingly; or
(b) If the overpayment does not exactly match the fee for an additional passport/service, you should not 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 Travel Document and Issuance System (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, the passport agencies/centers 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. The customer service unit may then copy and paste the information into the CA/C weekly spreadsheet and fill out the rest of the fields.
(6) Add a comment in TDIS indicating that the application was set up for a refund or that the applicant authorized a re-designation of funds. 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 Change of Service or Payment module and obtain management approval to override the fee issue, if required;
NOTE: The TDIS miscellaneous fee approval amount must be set to the amount of the execution fee at the Charleston Passport Center, the National Passport Center, the New Orleans Passport Agency, and the 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 passport agency/center procedures (see 8 FAM 105.3); and
(9) The CSM/communications office will process the refund in accordance with 8 FAH-1 H-803.16.
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 8 FAH-1 H-803.16.
d. Refund of Fees must be overseen in accordance with section 2.19 of the Internal Controls Guide for Employees.
8 FAM 602.2-5 Fee waivers and exemptions
a. Acceptance facilities are requested to 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 when the application is executed before a federal official). This includes:
NOTE: If fees were accepted for an applicant who is exempt from passport fees, the fees must be refunded in accordance with 8 FAM 602.2-4.
(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 or to attend a funeral or memorial service for such 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) A Peace Corps volunteer (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 posts in conjunction with a repatriation loan;
(b) Destitutes: Emergency, limited-validity (for direct return to the United States) passports issued at post to destitute persons who are not recipients of a repatriation loan;
(c) Victims of disasters and evacuees: Emergency, limited-validity passports issued at posts during period of international disaster or crisis for return to the United States (see 7 FAM 370 and 7 FAM 1860);
(d) Returning victims of serious crime: Emergency, limited-validity passports issued at posts to U.S. citizens or non-citizen U.S. 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
(e) Deportees, extraditees, and transferring prisoners: Limited-validity (for direct return to the United States) passports issued at posts to U.S. citizens or non-citizen U.S. 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 8 FAM 602.2-5, the applicant is also exempt from paying the security surcharge.
d. File search fee. The file search fee may be waived in certain limited situations:
(1) If the applicant is applying overseas because a passport was lost or stolen abroad and has no other evidence of identity and evidence of citizenship;
(2) If the applicant is exempt from paying the passport and execution fees, as provided in 8 FAM 602.2-5; or
(3) In circumstances specified in 8 FAM 1201.1.
e. Replacement passports. A replacement passport may be issued without payment of the execution, passport, security surcharge, and expedite fees:
(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 minimum 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 advance 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.
(3) The expedite fee is waived at passport agencies/centers during Passport Awareness Days unless expedited service is requested; and
(4) The expedite fee is not applicable at posts.
8 FAM 602.2-5(A) Fee Waivers for Victims of Major Disasters
a. The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (the "DRRA"), part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, 42 USC 5174b, provides that the President, in consultation with the Governor of a State, may provide a waiver to an individual or household described in 42 USC 5174(e)(1) of the following document replacement fees:
(1) The passport application fee for individuals who lost their U.S. passport in a major disaster within the preceding three calendar years; and
(2) The file search fee for a U.S. passport. The file search fee waiver does not include a time limit in the Act although 44 CFR 206.110(e) indicates that the period of federal assistance as a result of a major disaster generally extends for 18 months after the date of the declaration.
b. The President has delegated to the Secretary of State the functions and authorities vested in the President to provide the fee waivers noted above. The Secretary further delegated this authority to the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs on February 28, 2019 (Delegation of Authority No. 465). A list of major disasters for which no-fee replacement of passports has been authorized can be found on travel.state.gov. Passport agencies/centers will be notified whenever an authorized disaster has been added to the list.
c. The DRRA fee waivers are not retroactive. Passport agencies/centers may accept applications for disaster replacement passports at a passport agency/center without requiring the applicant to pay the expedite fee. However, the application will not be expedited without the payment of the expedite fee.
d. An applicant who had a valid passport product lost in a major disaster for which no-fee replacement of passports has been authorized should apply for a replacement using a form DS-5504, a new photograph, and a form DS-64 supporting the claim that the previous passport was lost because of a major disaster (see 8 FAM 902.3 for more information regarding lost passports). Certification letters from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are not required. Section 2 of form DS-64 must include the following:
(1) The approximate location where the loss occurred (e.g., the address of the impacted residence);
(2) The approximate date when the loss occurred;
(3) Certification that replacement passport fees will not be reimbursed by other sources, such as a homeowner's insurance policy; and
(4) The name or description of the major disaster that caused the loss. If this part of the statement is not entirely clear, passport specialists should verify this information on www.fema.gov/disasters. For example, if the applicant just writes "lost in a wildfire," the passport specialist could determine whether there was a major disaster fitting that description based on the location and date and annotate the application to that effect.
e. The passport(s) reported lost must be added to the Consular Lost and Stolen Passport database. The passport specialist must limit the replacement passport(s) to the expiration date of the original passport or one year, whichever is greater, using endorsement 03. If the applicant instead submits a form DS-11 at an acceptance facility, the execution fee is required. The expedite fee (if applicable) will be required unless the major disaster also prevents the Department from fulfilling its expedited service obligations.
f. An applicant who did not have a valid passport but was a victim of the major disaster must apply for a new passport with a form DS-11 and a photograph at a passport agency/center, acceptance facility, disaster recovery center, or local assistance center. The passport and execution fees are required and the expedite fee (if applicable) will be required unless, as above, the natural disaster also prevents the Department from fulfilling its expedited service obligations. The file search fee will be waived if the applicant submits a signed statement supporting the claim to have lost the required evidence of citizenship in the major disaster. The statement must include the same information regarding the major disaster as required for the form DS-64 above.
g. Passport agencies/centers must follow the guidance on adjudicating passport applications using passport records in 8 FAM 1201.1. If the passport agency/center determines that the previous passport was issued in error or if a passport application will be denied because of insufficient evidence, please contact AskPPTAdjudication@state.gov prior to denying the passport application or requesting revocation of the previous passport.
h. To track these cases, and because of the internal controls vulnerability created when waiving fees, fee waiver cases for major disasters must be audited at a rate of 100 percent in accordance with the Standard Performance Audit (see 8 FAH-1 H-602.4).
8 FAM 602.2-5(B) Unassigned
8 FAM 602.2-6 Acceptable forms of payment
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 an emergency, appropriate members of management may approve an overpayment and process a refund in accordance with 8 FAM 602.2-4. Otherwise, except as provided below, no overpayments 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 Services' employees cannot make change. If any funds are accepted over the exact amount, the excess funds must be placed into the miscellaneous category in TDIS;
(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 being 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; and
(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 8 FAM 603.1), the applicant’s full name must be manually recorded on the point of sale 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);
(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. Do not void money orders or
(6) Mobile device payments - Mobile device payments (such as, but not limited to, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.) using any acceptable major credit card. Processing mobile device payments, e.g., chargebacks, is the same as for any major credit card.
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 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 (see 7 FAH-1 H-722.2-2 for guidance on card-present and card-not-present transactions and 7 FAH-1 H-722.2-3 for guidance on chargebacks); or
(4) Money order - U.S. Postal, commercial, international, currency exchange.
8 FAM 602.2-7 Insufficient Funds
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 30 days, the application may be denied per 8 FAM 802.1 (this is a separate process from the notices in 4 FAM 493). Please note that the payment timeline differs from the regular passport application suspense process; however, there is no need to alter normal suspense procedures.
c. Returned after issuance: If the check is returned after issuance of the passport, Passport Services will submit a form DS-1833, Debit Voucher and Returned Check Deposit, to the Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services (CGFS) to collect the debt in accordance with 4 FAM 493.
d. See also section 2.6 of the Internal Controls Guide for Employees.
8 FAM 602.2-8 Procedures and Management controls for fee collection and refunds
a. Refer to 8 FAH-1 H-700 and the Internal Controls Guide for Employees for procedures for passport agencies/centers regarding the collection and handling of fees.
b. Posts should refer to 7 FAH-1 H-720 and the Consular Fees information under the management tab on the CAWeb.