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Applying for or renewing a passport means you’ll need to make a payment by check at some point in the process. Writing that check correctly ensures your passport application isn’t delayed or rejected.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question:

Make the check payable to “U.S. Department of State” and write your name and passport number in the memo line. Double-check the fee amount and sign the check.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through every step of writing a check for your passport, from knowing the right fee amounts to mailing the check securely. With these tips, your passport payment will be smooth sailing.

Know the Current Passport Fees

Before you proceed with writing a check for your passport, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the current passport fees.

These fees can vary depending on factors such as age, type of passport, and processing time.

By understanding the fees involved, you can ensure that you include the correct amount when writing your check.

New Adult Passport Book Fee

The fee for a new adult passport book is currently $110. This fee covers the application processing, as well as the production and issuance of the passport book.

Additionally, there is an execution fee of $35, which is paid separately and covers the cost of verifying your identity and administering the oath.

Child Passport Book Fee

If you are applying for a passport for a child under the age of 16, the fee is $80. This fee applies to both new passports and passport renewals for children.

As with adult passports, there is also an execution fee of $35 for children’s passports.

Passport Card Fees

In addition to the passport book, you may also choose to obtain a passport card. The fee for a passport card is $30 for adults and $15 for children under the age of 16.

The passport card is a wallet-sized card that can be used for travel by land or sea to certain countries, such as Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Optional Expedited Fees

If you require your passport to be processed more quickly, you have the option to pay an expedited fee. The expedited fee is currently $60 and is in addition to the regular passport fees.

This service is recommended for those who need their passports within a few weeks for urgent travel plans.

For the most up-to-date information on passport fees, it is always a good idea to visit the official website of the U.S. Department of State:

Make the Check Payable Correctly

One of the most important steps when writing a check for a passport is ensuring that it is made payable correctly.

This ensures that the payment is directed to the appropriate authority and avoids any delays or complications in processing your passport application.

Here are two key considerations when making the check payable:

Payable to U.S. Department of State

When writing a check for a passport, it is crucial to make it payable to the U.S. Department of State. This is the designated authority responsible for issuing passports in the United States.

Making the check payable to any other entity or department may result in payment rejection and a delay in processing your passport application.

To avoid any confusion, it is recommended to double-check the correct payee information before writing the check.

Spell out department fully

When filling out the payee section of the check, it is important to spell out the U.S. Department of State in its entirety. This ensures that there is no ambiguity or room for misinterpretation.

By spelling out the department fully, you provide clear instructions to the bank or financial institution to direct the payment to the correct entity.

Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms that may not be universally understood, as this could lead to payment confusion or rejection.

Include Required Information

When writing a check for a passport application, it is important to include all the required information accurately.

This ensures that your payment is processed smoothly and without any delays. Here are the key pieces of information you need to include:

Your full name

Start by writing your full name as it appears on your passport application. Make sure to use the same spelling and format to avoid any confusion.

If you have a middle name, include it as well. Remember to write legibly and use black or blue ink to fill out the check.

Passport number (for renewals)

If you are renewing your passport, you will need to include your passport number on the check. This helps the authorities match your payment with your application quickly.

Double-check your passport number to ensure its accuracy before writing it on the check.

Correct fee amount

Next, find out the exact fee amount for your passport application. This information can typically be found on the official website of your country’s passport agency.

Make sure to write the correct fee amount in numbers on the check.

If you are uncertain about the fee, reach out to the passport agency or consult their website for the most up-to-date information.

Remember, accuracy is crucial when filling out a check for a passport application.

Mistakes or missing information can lead to delays in processing your application.

Take your time and double-check all the required information before submitting your payment.

Use the Right Check Format

When it comes to writing a check for a passport application, it is crucial to use the right check format.

This ensures that your payment is processed smoothly and without any delays. Here are a few important points to keep in mind:

Use a personal check

When submitting a payment for your passport application, it is recommended to use a personal check. This means using a check that is linked to your personal bank account.

Personal checks typically have your name and address pre-printed on them, which adds an extra layer of verification for the authorities processing your application.

No starter checks

While personal checks are preferred, it is important to note that starter checks are not acceptable for passport applications.

Starter checks are temporary checks that banks provide when you open a new account.

These checks usually lack important information, such as your name and address, which could lead to complications in the processing of your passport application.

Therefore, it is advisable to use a regular personal check instead.

Black or blue ink recommended

When writing a check for your passport application, it is generally recommended to use black or blue ink. This ensures that the information on the check is clear and legible.

Using other colors like red or green may cause difficulties in reading the check, potentially delaying the processing of your application.

To avoid any unnecessary complications, stick to black or blue ink when filling out your check.

Sign and Date the Check

When writing a check for your passport application, it is important to sign and date the check correctly. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Don’t forget signature

One of the most crucial steps in writing a check is to sign it. Your signature confirms that the check is valid and has been authorized by you. Make sure to sign your name exactly as it appears on your passport application.

If you have a unique or complicated signature, consider practicing a few times to ensure consistency. Remember, a check without a signature is considered invalid and will not be accepted.

Date check for day sending

When dating the check, it is important to use the current date. This is the date on which you are sending the check to the passport agency or service.

Using an incorrect date can cause delays in processing your application. Be sure to write the month, day, and year clearly and legibly.

No future dates

It is essential to avoid writing a future date on the check. The date on the check should reflect the current day or an earlier date.

Writing a post-dated check can lead to complications and may result in your application being delayed or rejected.

Double-check the date before finalizing your check to ensure accuracy.

By following these guidelines and paying attention to detail, you can ensure that your check for your passport application is correctly signed and dated.

This will help streamline the application process and prevent any unnecessary delays.

Remember, accuracy and attention to detail are key when it comes to official documents like a passport application.

Mail the Check Properly

When it comes to sending your check for a passport application, it’s important to ensure that it is mailed properly so that it reaches the right destination without any issues. Here are some key steps to follow:

Use trackable mail service

It is highly recommended to use a trackable mail service when sending your check for a passport application.

This way, you can easily track the progress of your mail and ensure that it reaches its intended recipient.

Popular trackable mail services include USPS Priority Mail with tracking and UPS Ground.

Include application materials

Along with your check, make sure to include all the necessary application materials in the envelope.

This typically includes your completed passport application form, proof of U.S. citizenship, passport photo, and any other supporting documents required by the passport agency.

Double-check that you have included everything to avoid any delays or complications.

Send to correct passport facility

It is crucial to send your check and application materials to the correct passport facility.

The address and specific instructions can be found on the official website of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Make sure to verify the address and follow any additional instructions provided to ensure that your check reaches the correct destination in a timely manner.

By following these steps and mailing your check properly, you can have peace of mind knowing that your passport application is on its way to being processed.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to keep a copy of your check and all the application materials for your records.


Submitting proper passport payment by check is crucial for smooth application processing. By following the steps outlined, your check will be correctly written and mailed.

Always triple check the fee amount and payee details before sending. Use trackable mail and include your name and passport number without fail.

With these tips, you can feel confident your check for passport fees will be received quickly, allowing you to get your passport issued or renewed ASAP!

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