All U.S. citizens must now have a passport book or card to re-enter the United States from abroad. Visas are required to enter and stay in other countries.
First-time applicants older than 16 applying in person pay $75 plus a $25 execution fee, but there’s no execution fee on mail applications. Applicants younger than 16 pay $60 plus $25 execution and cannot apply by mail. You need a passport book to re-enter the U.S. by air.
Passport cards are for re-entering the U.S. by land or sea. If you’re older than 16, applying in person costs $20 plus $25 execution, but there’s no execution fee on mail applications. Applicants younger than 16 pay $10 plus $25 execution, with no mail application allowed.
Overnight passport book delivery is $60 in addition to regular fees. Passport cards can’t be expedited.
For passport book renewals, adults older than 16 pay $75. Youth under 16 pay $60. There’s no execution fee. The passport card has only been around since 2008, so none will expire until 2018 and renewal fees are not yet set.
Each country sets fees for visitors’ visas; some don’t require visas for limited stays. The U.S. uses “reciprocity” in setting rates. To enter the U.S., the application fee is always $131. If a visitor’s home country charges an issuance fee to U.S. citizens applying for a similar visa into that country, the visitor pays an additional $131 for a U.S. visa issuance.