Contact Information:
Ernest C. Cerino, Jr.
Office of the Mercer County Clerk
609-989-6353

Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello will hold a special Passport Day for county residents on Tuesday, December 6, from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at the Jennye Stubblefield Senior Center located at 301 Prospect Street in Trenton. The County Clerk will bring her passport staff to the senior center to process U.S. Passport applications on-site for residents of Trenton and all other parts of the County. Residents can apply for a traditional U.S. Passport book or a U.S. Passport card that day.

Residents are encouraged to call 609-989-6473 and reserve a time to have their applications processed and their passport photo taken, if needed. However, walk-in applicants are welcome. Additional representatives from the County Clerk’s Office will be on-site to assist residents with their forms. Every effort will be made to include those residents who do not make an appointment.

To apply for a U.S. Passport, residents will need 1) Proof of U.S. citizenship in the form of a state certified birth certificate, a U.S. naturalization certificate or a previous U.S. Passport. 2) Proof of identity in the form of a current driver’s license or state issued identification card. A U.S. Passport is valid for ten years for adults and five years for minors. The cost for a passport is $110 for adults and $80 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 under 16. The Clerk’s Office will accept checks or money orders for payment.  No cash or credit cards will be accepted at this event.

To apply for a U.S. Passport card, residents will need to provide the same identification as they would for a traditional U.S. Passport book, however, the cost is much less. A U.S. Passport card is a more portable and less expensive alternative to the traditional U.S. passport. The wallet size U.S. Passport card can be used at U.S. border crossings and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.  The limited-use card may not be used for air travel.  It will otherwise carry the rights and privileges of a traditional U.S. Passport book and serves as an excellent source of identification.

Effective April 1, the U.S. Department of State now requires the full names of a passport applicant’s parents to be listed on all certified birth certificates to be considered as primary evidence of U.S. citizenship. The new requirements will apply to all U.S. Passport applicants, regardless of their age. Under the new Federal mandate, certified birth certificates missing parental information will not be accepted as proof of U.S. citizenship.

For children, Federal passport guidelines now require both parents to appear in person -- or one parent in person with notarized federal consent forms -- when applying for a passport for a child under 16.

While routine applications for U.S. Passports are now being processed from four to six weeks, the early fall season is a good time to apply since the U.S. State Department historically receives large numbers of applications as the holiday season nears. “Travelers who have not yet applied for a passport should not hesitate, because the overall demand for passports has been rising due to changes in U.S. travel requirements, which now requires travelers to have passports for air, land and sea travel outside of the United States, including Caribbean islands, Canada and Mexico,” advises County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello.

For those who will be unable to participate in the passport events, the Mercer County Clerk’s office processes U.S. Passport applications on a regular basis, Monday through Friday during regular business hours at County Clerk’s Office, 209 South Broad Street in Trenton.  In addition, residents can also apply for a U.S. Passport 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. Passport photos are available at both locations.

For further information on U.S. Passport requirements, and what personal documents are needed to obtain a passport, residents should visit www.mercercounty.org and click on County Clerk, General Info, or call 609-989-6473.