TRENTON, NJ --  Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello announced on Friday that her office will once again host special passport service days for residents of Mercer County at various locations to accept US Passport applications on site.   The Clerk urged residents to get a head start of their travel plans soon by starting the passport process.

“Many people like to go abroad for summer trips, but the US State Department typically takes many weeks to process passport applications,” said Mercer Clerk Paula Sollami Covello. “The earlier you apply or renew, the likelier you are to avoid any delays.”

Locally, the Clerk's Passport Day will take place at the Mercer County Library – Robbinsville Branch located at 42 Robbinsville-Allentown Road on Thursday, April 16 between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  Locations elsewhere in Mercer County include Monday, March 23 between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm at the Ewing Township Municipal Complex located at 2 Jake Garzio Drive, Ewing and Thursday, April 2 between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm at the Lawrence Township Senior Center located at 30 East Darrah Lane in Lawrenceville.  

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Although walk-in applications are welcome, residents are encouraged to call (609) 989-6473 to reserve a time to have their applications processed and photos taken, if needed.

In addition to these specific Passport Processing Day, the Mercer County Clerk’s office routinely processes US passports during business hours at the offices located on 209 South Broad Street in Trenton, and at the County Connection satellite office -- which offers convenient evening and Saturday hours --  located in the Hamilton Square Shopping Center at the corner of Route 33 and Paxson Avenue in Hamilton Township. 

To apply for a passport, residents will need to provide proof of US citizenship in the form of a state-certified birth certificate; US naturalization certificate or a previous US Passport; and proof of identity in the form of a current driver’s license or state-issued identification card.  US citizens and nationals can also apply for a passport card, which is valid for entry by land or sea only to Canada, Mexico, and many Caribbean nations. It can also be used as proof of citizenship to present to a US Embassy in case your passport booklet is lost or stolen abroad. Applications fees are $30 for adults and minors age 16 and over and $15 for children under 16.

For minors, federal passport guidelines require both parents to appear in person - or one parent in person with notarized federal consent forms - when applying for a passport for a minor.

A US passport booklet is valid for ten years for adults and five for minors (under 16). The cost for a passport is $110 for adults and $80 for minors.  Applications for passport booklets and cards include a $35 County Clerk’s passport processing fee. Photo fees are $15 for adults and $10 for children and seniors (62 and over).   For both passport booklets and cards, the County Clerk will accept checks or money orders as payment; no cash or cards can be accepted Federal law requires a separate check for each application.

Although passports are primarily for international travel, they may soon be required for domestic flights after October 1st of this year, due to the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. Only under certain circumstances can REAL ID-compliant New Jersey drivers’ licenses be obtained. To avoid this headache, residents can apply for a passport, which is already REAL ID-compliant.  

Before an international trip, travelers are urged to visit the US Department of State’s website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html to see if your intended country of entry has any further entrance requirements. Some countries require you to apply for an entrance visa in addition to having a passport.

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