Saturday, March 27, has been deemed “Passport Day in the USA” by the U.S. State Department, and offices around the country will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to accept passport applications without an appointment.
It’s actually the only day of the year that a U.S. Citizen can apply for a routine passport in person at one of the country’s 23 passport agencies. Most days, only expedited passport applications are accepted at these agencies.
About 2,000 additional passport acceptance facilities will also be working this weekend.
The State Department says the point of Passport Day is to help families who will need the documents for their summer travel plans. Last year, the first Passport Day in the USA gathered 57,000 passport applications.
What they aren’t saying is that it’s also a great time to get your U.S. passport before the fees go up. The State Department has proposed raising the total fees for a first-time Passport from $100 to $135 for adults and from $85 to $105 for minors.
The new fees were proposed on Feb. 9 and then went through a 30-day period of public comment. There is no word yet on when the new fees will take effect, but you can count on a costlier passport sometime soon.
You will, of course, need to bring some documents with you to apply for your passport on Passport Day, including a completed passport application and identification such as a birth certificate and driver’s license.
The State Department has set up a database of all the Passport Day locations that will be open Saturday, so that you can find the one nearest you.