UNION COUNTY, NJ - Travelers needing new passports and applying Nov. 1 or after that date must remove their eyeglasses for their passport picture according to a new U.S. State Department rule, says Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi.

The new rule only covers passport applications submitted on or after November 1.

“If you already have a valid passport and you are wearing your glasses in your photo, or if you submitted a passport application by October 31 which included a photo wherein you were wearing your glasses, you do not need to have a new photo taken,” said Rajoppi.

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Rajoppi noted that her office has received a number of phone calls from travelers who are confused about the new rule.

“Some media reports about the new rule have given the impression that everyone who wears glasses needs a new photo, and that is simply not the case,” said Rajoppi. “Your current passport is still valid until the expiration date.”

The no-glasses rule is designed to help the US State Department process passport applications more quickly, by ensuring that the applicant’s eyes are clearly visible in the photo. 

“My staff is trained in the standards promulgated by the US Department of State relative to the photo requirements and experienced in photographing applicants for their passports, which will ensure that your photo meets all requirements and your application is not delayed because of a bad photo,” said Rajoppi.

The County Clerk staff can take a passport photo for $10.00 at either the Elizabeth or Westfield location. The fee is comparable to other vendors in the Union County area.

The County Clerk’s Main Office in Elizabeth is located in the County Courthouse, at 2 Broad Street. The Annex Office in Westfield is located in the Colleen Fraser Building in the County complex at 300 North Avenue East.

For more information about passport services from the County Clerk, call the Main Office at 908-527-4966 or the Annex Office at 908-654-9859, or visit online at ucnj.org/county-clerk.