Paula Sollami Covello
Mercer County Clerk
Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello today urged county residents planning to travel during the year to apply for their US Passport now. The US State Department has proposed fee hikes that would require adults applying for their first passport book to pay up to $135, from the current $100 fee and the fee for a minor’s passport book would rise up to $105, up from the current $85.
While no specific date has been set for the fee increase, the Federal Register comment period has expired. “While routine applications for US Passports are now being processed from four to six weeks, this is a great time to apply for your US Passport,” said Sollami Covello. “Travelers who have not yet applied or renewed their passports should not hesitate and get their applications processed well before the fee increase goes into effect to save money,” added Sollami Covello.
To apply for a US Passport, residents will need 1) Proof of US citizenship in the form of a state certified birth certificate, a US naturalization certificate or a previous US Passport; and 2) Proof of identity in the form of a current driver’s license or state issued identification card. A US Passport is valid for ten years for adults and five years for minors. The cost for a passport is $75 for adults and $60 for minors plus a processing fee of $25. The federal government requires a separate check for each passport application. Passport photos will be taken on-site for $15 or $10 for senior citizens and minors. The Clerk’s Office will accept checks or money orders for payment.
For children, Federal passport guidelines now require both parents are required to appear in person -- or one parent in person with required documentation -- when applying for a passport for a child under 16.
“The Mercer County Clerk’s office processes US Passport and US Passport Card applications Monday through Friday during business hours at County Clerk’s Office, 209 South Broad Street in Trenton. In addition, one can also apply for a US Passport or US Passport Card at the Mercer 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,” tells County Clerk Sollami Covello. Passport photos are available at both locations.
The Mercer County Clerk’s Office is located in the Old Courthouse at 209 South Broad Street in Trenton and is open from Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Wednesdays until 6:45 pm. The Mercer County Connection is located in the Hamilton Square Shopping Center at Route 33 and Paxson Avenue in Hamilton Township and is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm.
For further information on US Passport and US Passport Card requirements, and what personal documents are needed to obtain one, Mercer County residents are encouraged to visit www.mercercounty.org and click on County Clerk or call 609-989-6473.
“The Clerk’s Office is anticipating that there might be a rush of passport applications from residents wanting to beat any possible fee hikes and it is ready to assist the residents of Mercer County,” Sollami Covello said.