The No-Fee Passport: Free Passport
Every U.S. citizen that travels in and out of the country must have a valid U.S. passport. Passport fees are standard for most passport applicants. There are some circumstances where an applicant qualifies for a no-fee passport. Yes. That’s right. A free passport.
How to Apply For The No-Fee Passport: The Free Passport
There are many restrictions if you want to apply for a free passport. First, you must qualify. Review the qualifications below to see if you are eligible. If you also want to save money on passport photos, you can either take your own or use a free passport photo service.
You are eligible for a no-fee passport book if you are an officer or employee of the U.S. Government, traveling abroad for the U.S. Government. You also qualify if you are the dependent of someone traveling abroad for the U.S. Government, and will accompany them on their assignment. Another reason you may qualify for a free passport is if you have a letter from the American Battle Monuments Commission stating that you are traveling overseas in honor of a deceased family member in the U.S. Armed Forces. Lastly, you may qualify for a no-fee passport if you are exempt by law from payment of the passport fee. For additional information on the exemption, please scroll to the bottom of this page
Apply for a No-Fee Passport Book
Applicants for no-fee passport books should contact their respective travel offices for further instruction.
- Military: Contact your Installation Travel Office.
- Federal Government Agency: Contact your Agency headquarters travel office.
- Peace Corps: Contact your travel office.
- Department of State Personnel: Contact your Bureau Executive Office or Personnel Technician.
- Other Eligible No-Fee Passport Book Applicants:
Contact your Congressional Representative or email CA-PPT-SIA-Communications@state.gov.
Applying for and Traveling with a No-Fee Passport Book
Official and Diplomatic passport books are no-fee passport books. No-fee passports are only issued in book form, as no-fee passport cards do not exist. You may use your no-fee passport book only when traveling overseas in discharge of your official duties. So for personal travel, you must use a regular fee passport book or card. You may have both a valid regular passport book and a valid no-fee passport book at the same time. Dependents authorized to accompany you on official travel must have their own no-fee passport books. Generally, no-fee passport books are sent to, or picked up by the organization, government agency, or branch of service sponsoring the passport issuance, not the individual. The sponsor of your official travel should appear in the “Mailing Address” block of the application. If you are applying for a no-fee passport book at a passport Acceptance Facility, you will be charged the $25.00 execution fee; however, you are not required to pay the passport fee.
American Battle Monuments Commission
The no-fee passport is available to those traveling abroad for widows, widowers, children, parents, or siblings of a deceased member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is buried or memorializes on Tablets of the Missing at an overseas military cemetery administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission. An applicant for this type of passport book should submit a letter from the Commission with their passport application. This should name the deceased American service member with whom the applicant claims a relationship. Be sure to include the place of burial or memorial in the foreign country. These passport books are issued for a five-year period of validity and may be used for later trips if the purpose of travel remains the same. Someone providing a letter from the American Battle Monuments Commission should include his or her personal mailing address on the application. These passport books are mailed directly to the applicant.
Apply For The No-Fee Passport: The Free Passport
If you do not qualify for a free passport, you can still get a passport the old fashioned way. Routine processing takes 4-6 weeks and you can visit your local passport acceptance facility to apply. If you need a passport in two weeks or less, you may want to contact your local Regional Passport Agency for an appointment or contact a trusted passport expeditor that can help you without any appointment necessary.
§51.52 Exemption from payment of passport fees.
(a) A person who is exempt from the payment of passport fees under this section may obtain a passport book only for no charge. A passport card will not be issued for no charge to the individuals exempt from the payment of passport fees under this section.
(b) The following persons are exempt from payment of passport fees except for the passport execution fee, unless their applications are executed before a federal official, in which case they are also exempt from payment of the passport execution fee:
(1) An officer or employee of the United States traveling on official business and the members of his or her immediate family. The applicant must submit evidence of the official purpose of the travel and, if applicable, authorization for the members of his or her immediate family to accompany or reside with him or her abroad.
(2) An American seaman who requires a passport in connection with his or her duties aboard a United States flag vessel.
(3) A widow, widower, child, parent, brother or sister of a deceased member of the United States Armed Forces proceeding abroad to visit the grave of such service member or to attend a funeral or memorial service for such member.
(4) Other persons whom the Department determines should be exempt from payment of passport fees for compelling circumstances, pursuant to guidance issued by the Department; or
(5) Other categories of persons exempted by law.
[72 FR 74173, Dec. 31, 2007]