By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Many rush to get passports before fee hike
Travel costs more
passport 5 jd
Sheila Butler trims the edges of a passport photo Monday at the Cumming Post Office. - photo by Jim Dean
The rush, Sheila Butler said, started about midweek last week.

And Monday was a “very busy” day for the passport office at the Cumming Post Office.

By 1:45 p.m., Butler said she had helped “between 30 and 40 people.”

“It’s been hectic today,” said Butler, who has worked at the office for 16 years.

The rush to apply for a passport was to get ahead of a price increase that took effect Tuesday.  

The cost of passport books has risen by 35 percent, after the U.S. Department of State tacked on another $35 to adult passports that now cost $100.

Passport card fees rose from $45 to $55, and a passport book for children younger than 18 rose from $85 to $105. Cards for children went up by $5 to $40.

The U.S. Department of State said in a news release that the increase came after a cost of service study conducted last year by the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

“The revised fees will cover actual operating expenses for the 301 oversea consular posts, 23 domestic passport agencies and other centers that provide these consular services to U.S. and foreign citizens,” according to a State Department news release.

Butler said the people she assisted didn’t complain about the increase.

“They’ve been fine,” she said. “It’s just another thing.”

In Forsyth County, passports are available on a walk-in basis at the U.S. Post Office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

They are also available at the Forsyth County Probate Court, located at 112 West Maple St. in downtown Cumming.

Patty Pickelsimer, chief deputy clerk, said she’s seen an increase passport requests at probate court.

“We did have what seemed like extra numbers toward the end of last week and [Monday],” Picklesimer said.

“They’re not upset about it, they just know it’s the guideline set by the Department of State.”

Probate court issues passports from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

Stephen Gurr of the FCN regional staff contributed to this report.