HAMILTON, NJ  -  With just under a year before all states are required to fully upgrade their government issued driver's licenses to REAL ID-compliant ones, the Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello issued a reminder to residents that passport books and passport cards are compliant with the ID federal regulations.

Residents can apply for passports at the Mercer County Clerk's offices in Trenton and Hamilton. 

New Jersey was previously one of only five US states and territories whose state-issued driver’s licenses were not compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005, which was signed into law as a response to calls to push for tighter security after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

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Residents who wish to travel on domestic flights – or who need access to federal buildings – can use a passport book or card as identification, regardless of whether their current driver’s license is REAL ID-compliant.  Passport books are good for any international travel and are REAL ID-compliant for domestic flights. Routine passport book service costs $110, with expedited service costing $170. For children under 16, routine service is $80, with expedited service costing $140.

Meanwhile, passport cards, which also are REAL ID-compliant, are valid for travel by land or sea only to Canada, Mexico, and many Caribbean nations. A passport card can also be used for entrance into federal buildings and proof of US Citizenship to present to a US Embassy if your passport book is lost while abroad. Fees for service are $30 for adults and $15 for children under 16. Picture fees are $15 for adults and $10 for children and seniors (age 62 and older).

All passport services of the County Clerk include a $35 County Clerk’s processing fee that must be paid via check or money order.  

Passport processing services occur every weekday at the County Clerk's Office located at 209 South Broad Street in Trenton and at the Mercer County Connection Office located at 957 Route 33 in Hamilton.  The Clerk;s office also is hosting a special passport day on October 10 from 4 to 7 pm at the West Windsor Municipal Building located at 731 Clarksville Road, Conference Room A.

Residents looking to obtain a passport are encouraged to arrange an appointment by calling (609) 989-6473.

New Jersey residents can now upgrade their driver’s licenses by appointment only at one of six MVC offices where appointments are held.

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