Contact:Paula Sollami Covello
(609) 989-6998

Clerk Paula Sollami Covello today reported that the Mercer County Clerk's office processed over 6000 applications for United States Passports in 2007. "Our annual review of passport operations showed that 6122 passports applications were taken at the Mercer County's two passport processing locations," said Clerk Sollami Covello.

"The rising number of passport applications was likely due to the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security tightening US Passport requirements by announcing that all U.S. citizens traveling by air to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda must now present a passport to enter or depart from the United States," noted Sollami Covello.

"Also, beginning January 31, 2008 photo identification plus proof of citizenship will be needed to travel to and from Canada and Mexico by car. Although the ID does not have to be in the form of a US Passport, it is an excellent form of identification when crossing the country's border," added Sollami Covello

"It makes sense for travelers to be wise and always utilize a passport, no matter where their destination is because, a US Passport is an ultimate form of personal identification when traveling outside the US," said Sollami Covello. "Travelers who have not yet applied for a passport, should not hesitate to apply for one, because the demand for US Passports is expected to be extensive in 2008 as well," advised Sollami Covello.

The Mercer County Clerk's office continues to receive and process US Passport applications Monday through Friday during business hours at the County Clerk's Office, 209 South Broad Street in Trenton. In addition, one can also apply for a US Passport at the recently opened County Connection located at the Hamilton Square Shopping Center on Highway 33 & Paxson Avenue in Hamilton. The County Connection satellite office offers evening and Saturday hours for the convenience of Mercer County residents. Passport photos are available at both locations.

For further information on US Passport requirements, and what personal documents are needed to obtain a passport, Mercer County residents are encouraged to visit www.mercercounty.org and click on County Clerk.