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USPS aids customers before passport fee hike

Postal worker holds camera
Ron Carter, a retail associate at the Midtown Passport Acceptance Center in Atlanta, prepares to take an applicant’s photo this week.

The Postal Service is helping customers apply for passports before a U.S. State Department fee increase takes effect next week.

Beginning Monday, April 2, the passport acceptance fee will rise from $25 to $35. Post Offices are holding passport fairs and offering extended hours to help customers submit applications and beat the increase.

“Our expanded availability of passport services will make it easier for those needing a new passport to apply for one before the fees increase,” said Daniel Corral, officer in charge in Albuquerque, NM, where the Main Post Office recently added Saturday hours to better serve passport customers.

The $10 fee increase applies only to U.S. applicants who use the DS-11 form, U.S. Passport Application. The increase doesn’t apply to adults eligible to renew their U.S. passport by mail using the DS-82 form.

Passports are an important part of the Postal Service’s business. Post Offices accepted more than 6.5 million passport applications during the previous fiscal year, generating $164.9 million in revenue.

In addition to holding special fairs and offering extended hours, USPS recently introduced an online appointment scheduler to better serve passport customers.

“We want to make the process of applying for new passports easy,” said Ewa Beach, HI, Postmaster Laroma Parker. “We’re happy to leverage the convenience of the Postal Service to help our customers apply for new passports prior to the busy summer travel season.”

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