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Passport costs about to increase

If you've been procrastinating about getting or renewing your passport, it's time to get going because fees will increase July 13.

The increase will raise the fee of an adult passport from $100 to $135, according to the Stevens County Recorder's Office.

The acceptance facility receives $25 and the state receives $110. Adult passports are valid for 10 years. Renewal fees on adult passports will shoot up to $110 from $75. Passport fees for children 15 and younger will increase from $85 to $105.

Passport card fees are also increasing to $55 from $45 for adults and $40 from $35 for children. Passport cards look like a driver's license and allow you to enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-call. You cannot fly using the passport card.

Payment for passports must be a check or money order.

Stop by the Stevens County Recorder's Office at 618 Atlantic Avenue (City Center Mall) or call the office at (320) 208-6565 with questions.

There are other legislative changes effective July 1 that will have an impact on Minnesota vital statistics.

Effective July 1:

•Certified copies of birth certificates will increase by $10. Prior to July 1, a certified copy of a birth certificate (first copy) is $16 and will increase to $26. Additional certified copies of the same birth certificate (ordered at the same time as the first copy) prior of July 1 at $9 and will increase to $19. This new $10 state surcharge shall be forwarded to the commissioner of management and budget for deposit in the general fund.

•Marriage license full fee will increase from $110 to $115. The reduced marriage license fee (with and educator's statement) will remain the same at $40. The new $5 state surcharge shall be forwarded to the state to assist in paying for the "Couples on the Brink" program.

•Educator's Statement, which is used for the reduced fee marriage license is now able to either be notarized or under the church seal. That was the only change in referenced to this Educator's Statement. The statement must be presented at the time of application for the marriage license and in the format outlined in statute, included the full legal names of the couple, dated, signed by the educator, notarize or under church seal and appear on the educator's letterhead.

Other law changes will be effective August 1:

•Notary filing fee will decrease from $100 to $20 at the County level. The County is no longer responsible for collecting the State's fee of $80. That fee will now be included at the time of application for the notary commission and will be paid directly to the state.

•All ex-officio notaries will be required to have a stamp similar to the notary public and will no longer be able to use their official office stamp.

Questions can be directed to the Stevens County Recorder's office at (320) 08-6565.