When should you get: A 52-page United States passport vs. a Regular passport?

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Prior to 2016, if you run out of passport pages, you could order additional pages. So, if you need more space, it will cost you $110 to extend your subscription. However, there is a simple way to avoid all of this hassle and expense.

There are 52 pages in the large passport book, compared to 28 pages in the regular passport book (20 pages for passport stamps). Considering that the larger book is free, we see no reason why you shouldn’t purchase it. Your application form will ask you to check the “Large Book” box.

Some countries, like South Africa, require you to have two to four blank visa pages in your passport before entering the country, which may not seem like a big deal. If you don’t meet the airline’s requirements, you may not be able to board the plane. If you’re planning a trip, here are nine more things you should avoid.

There is a ten-year expiration date on US passports. You’d need at least 20 to 30 international trips to fill out the regular book’s 20 pages of stamps because most countries’ entry and exit stamps don’t fill a whole page. Now, 20 to 30 international trips may sound like a big deal, but they really are not if you consider the expiration date of the passport, i.e, 10 years.

For those who plan to travel a lot in the next few years, it makes sense to go for a passport with additional pages.

On a conclusive note, we recommend getting a regular 28-page passport if you know you are a very sporadic traveler who is likely not to make too many or even enough international trips in the next ten years. Knowing what you will be doing in the next ten years seems unlikely (you may just turn into a full-fledged traveler, who knows?). Thus, getting a 52-page non-standard passport is a much better option.

Why should you get a 52-page passport instead of a regular one?

Below we have elaborated on why you should be getting a 52-page passport instead of the regular 28-page one.

Be the wise man or woman; we are not sexually discriminative!

●    A passport is valid for 10 years

Since a passport is valid for a ‘long’ period of 10 years, it is possible you would exhaust the pages in a regular passport book before the passport expires. In this case, you will have to renew your passport before its expiration date.

If you are a sporadic traveler, getting a regular or a standard passport book should be fine for you. However, if you travel quite a few times in a year, it would hardly take any time for your passport book to be filled with visa as well as exit stamps.

Thus, getting a 52-page passport is a much-preferred option over a standard 28-page passport.

●    Some places require extra empty pages on your passport

Now, if you are running out of pages on a standard passport, you may think that you could just ask the immigration officer to save up space on your passport book and stamp on a non-empty page. This might work most of the time.

However, there are certain countries that require you to have a specific number of empty pages on your passport. A certain number of blank visa pages are required in a passport for entry into most foreign countries. If you don’t meet this requirement, some airlines won’t let you board.


If you’re planning a trip to multiple countries, you’ll need to keep track of each country’s requirements separately. Prior to your trip, you will need to get a new passport if it does not have enough blank pages in it. Adding visa pages to a passport is no longer possible. There is no way around it: You need to get a new passport.

This is why getting a 52-page passport that comes with more than double the pages in a standard passport is preferred since you do not have to worry about saving blank visa pages for a long time.

●    Upgrading to the 52-page passport is free

The most sound reasoning we could give for you to choose a 52-page passport over a regular 28-page one is that when you fill out the passport issuance or renewal form, you do not need to pay any extra fee for the 52-page passport.

This means that from between the two boxes (one for a 28-page passport and one for a 52-page passport), even if you tick the 52-page passport option, you would still be charged the same amount of money for either the renewal or the issuance of passport as you would be if you chose the other option.

If you can get a passport with more than twice the pages of a regular passport without paying an extra fee, why get the regular one in the first place?

●    Renewal of passport is expensive

Once the passport pages are exhausted, you will have to renew your passport if you are going on an international trip. In fact, as mentioned before, you will also have to renew if your passport does not have enough blank pages as required by the destination country’s regulations.

Now, passport renewal is an expensive thing and it would not really matter if your passport has not expired yet. If you exhaust the blank pages without hitting the expiration date, you will still have to renew your passport.

Therefore, the rational thing to do is to get a passport with more pages (52-page passport) instead of sticking to the regular one. This way you would not have to worry about passport renewal owing to running out of blank pages.

●    Getting additional pages onto your passport is (also) expensive

Expediting additional pages onto your passport comes with a hefty price tag of $142, while the regular charges are $82 (which is also ‘hefty’ in our definition). If you run out of pages, you would either have to renew your passport or get additional pages attached. Both of these are costly options. Thus, the ideal thing to do is to get a 52-page passport during passport issuance. This way you save money on both renewal and attachment of additional pages to your passport all because you ran out of pages.

What To Do if You Run Out of Passport Pages?

A trip can be derailed by running out of passport pages.

Since the last time you went on an international vacation, have you noticed that your passport has run out of pages?

Those who travel frequently may already be familiar with this issue, but it can still come as a surprise to anyone. Running out of passport pages can be a difficult situation, no matter how often you travel.

Since some passport laws were revised in 2016, it is even more difficult to replace the pages.

Before January 1, 2016, you were able to purchase an additional 24 passport pages without issue. The new set would have enough room for all of the new visa entry and exit stamps that have recently been issued. Even those who travel the world frequently would have a difficult time filling 24 pages.

However, after that, the United States stopped providing the service of adding additional passport pages.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make. Passport security and international passport standards necessitated the discontinuation of the service.

How can you get more empty passport pages today?

Passport holders who need additional pages for their current passports will now need to apply for a new one. A parent or legal guardian must obtain a new passport on behalf of a minor, as children’s passport regulations are more complex.

It’s possible to avoid renewing a passport if you travel frequently. For no additional fee, they can renew their passports by mail and apply for 52-page passports.

What if you realize you’re out of passport pages at the last second?

You can visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at your travel destination during regular business hours (Monday through Friday) in the event of an emergency. Talk to one of the staff members and explain your situation if you need assistance. When applying for an emergency passport, the consulate is the most likely place to get the final word.

Alternatively, you can either download or fill out an application from the consulate or embassy’s website, or you can fill out the proper forms when you arrive on site.

Remember to bring your old passport and two passport photos with you when you leave. If you don’t have any photos, the consulate staff can point you in the right direction for a photoshoot. You should also have at least $150 in cash on hand to cover the processing fees.

You should be able to get your new passport the same day in most cases. Make sure to keep in mind that an emergency passport has only five double-sided pages of US Passport pages. Passports can be renewed for a year at the same time.

How Much Does a US Passport Cost?

Below we have broken down the cost of a U.S. passport into different parts, as of 2021:

Acceptance Agent Fee: This fee is charged by the acceptance agent, who is typically a post office library or a clerk of the court. Essentially, these individuals are authorized to “adjudicate” a passport application, which is akin to witnessing the application in some ways. They will verify the applicant’s identity, examine the documents submitted, and witness signatures. They will also provide feedback.

This is required for the issuance of new adult passports, minor passports, and for the replacement of lost passports, among other things. The fee is $35, and it must be paid in person at the time of your appointment with the clerk or postal worker. Fees can typically be paid in cash, check, money order, or, in some cases, by credit card, depending on the circumstances.

New Passport (for adults 16 and older): There is a $110 application fee and a $35 execution fee for a new adult passport book. The total fee has been increased to $145. If you choose to expedite at a post office, you will be charged an additional $60 fee and your passport will be returned in 4-6 weeks.

New Passport Cards (for adults age 16 and older): You must pay a $30 application fee and a $35 execution fee. The new total fee is $65, which is an increase from the previous $65. Again, this is only applicable if you want a passport card but have never previously held a passport. If you already have a passport, you can apply for a passport card by mail using Form DS-82, which will save you the fee associated with the execution.

Adult Passport Renewal Fees: If you’re renewing your passport by mail, the fee is $110. You will be charged $170 if you choose to expedite through the mail.

Passports for children under the age of sixteen: The total is $115.00, which includes an application fee of $80.00 and an execution fee of $35.00, for a total of $115.00.

Passport cards for children under the age of sixteen: There is a $15 application fee and a $35 execution fee for this service. The total cost is $50.00.

What are the different types of passport books issued in the U.S.?

There are several different types of passport books available in the United States, each of which is issued to travelers for a specific reason. You will learn about the different types of passport books in our guide to US passport books, allowing you to determine which one you will need and why you need it.

Personal Passport (blue cover)

Also known as “tourist passports,” “regular passports,” and “ordinary citizenship passports,” the blue-covered passport book with a white border is the one that is issued to the vast majority of United States citizens. It is appropriate for all types of travel, with the exception of travel for government-related purposes in the United States.

This includes tourist travel, business travel, flight crew travel, and travel for educational or employment opportunities. Personal passports are available for purchase at any of the United States Passport Agencies.

Official Passport (brown cover)

Official passports are issued to employees and contractors of the United States government who are traveling on official government business. They are also given to active-duty military personnel who will be traveling abroad on military duty in the future.


Official passports are only issued in Washington, DC, at the Special Issuance Agency of the Washington Passport Agency, and are not available anywhere else in the world.

Citizens of the United States are permitted to have both a valid official passport and a valid personal passport at the same time. The only time an official passport should be used is when traveling on official government business; therefore, any leisure travel must be completed with a personal passport.

Diplomatic Passport (black cover)

Those employed by the United States State Department who are required to travel or work abroad on State Department business are issued diplomatic passports. Diplomatic passports are only issued in Washington, DC, at the Special Issuance Agency of the Washington Passport Agency, and they are only valid for one year.

Travel documents for non-citizens include the Re-Entry Permit, Refugee Travel Document, and Advance Parole Travel Document, among others.

Non-Citizen Travel Documents: Re-Entry Permit, Refugee Travel Document, and Advance Parole Travel Document

These documents, which are issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, have the appearance of passport books and perform the same functions as passports in terms of identification and travel documents. They are not, however, citizenship documents; they are only issued to non-US citizens who are legally residing in the United States and who meet the other requirements.

Most of the time, people who are unable to obtain a new passport from their country of citizenship are issued with one of these travel documents.

Non-citizen travel documents can be used in the same way as passports to gain entry into other countries and to apply for visas in those countries. The bearer of these documents also establishes his or her right to re-enter the United States.

Read More

  1. What is an Issuing Country or Passport Issuing Country?
  2. Can You Leave the U.S. Without a Passport?
  3. What Should You Do if Your Passport Wasn’t Stamped on Arrival in the US?
  4. What is the purpose of the sticker in a British passport?
  5. Does your passport number change when you renew it?
  6. DS 160 – Have you traveled to any countries/regions within the last five years?
  7. Can a U.S. citizen fly to Mexico without a passport?
  8. Can you use your passport as an ID?
  9. What should you do with an expired passport?
  10. What happens if your passport photo is rejected in the UK?
  11. What Can Someone Do With A Scanned Copy of your Passport?
  12. How to check if passport chip works? Does it matter?
  13. What does the Passport application locator number mean?
Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.


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