We just went through this a few months ago, before heading to Cancun with our family of six. With four kids needing passports, and with less than 6-8 weeks notice, we ended up paying rush charges on top of application fees. But other than the fact that it cost us $719.84 <gulp>, the process was somewhat painless.
- Child's Passport fee: $65
- Execution fee: $25
- Expedited service: $60
- Overnight delivery: $14.96
- Passport photos: $15
We live in a small town, and both our local city center and the post office offered the application service and photos, and both cost the same amount. We asked about going to Seattle to do it in person, but we were told that the rush charge still would apply, and that they only do them in person (with an appointment) if your trip is within two weeks. In our case, it was about four weeks. We both took in all the kids to the city center, had our own ID, had pre-filled the forms we downloaded, had birth certificates in hand, and it was all done in about 30 minutes, including photos.
Here are some great tips from Mariana:
- Gather all the documents you need. Proof of citizenship (like a birth certificate) and proof of identity (like a driver's license). You'll need your Social Security number as well, so have your card at hand if you don't have the number memorized.
- Make a photocopy of your identification. This can usually be done at the post office, but doing it yourself will save you time, in the case that they don't have a photocopier available.
- Get your passport photos taken at your local drugstore's photo counter. CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid all offer passport photo services at reasonable prices. If you prefer to get the photos taken at the post office, be prepared to pay much, much more for them.
- If you're applying for a passport for a minor, both parents and the child must appear in person!
- For more information, please visit travel.state.gov/passport. Wishing you safe travels this summer!