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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2009

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tom Plante, 908-527-4746

 

Apply Now for Passports and Avoid the Last Minute Delay;
Union County Clerk Offers Free Passport Photos thru April 30

 

If you are planning a summer vacation outside the United States, don’t wait until the last minute to make sure your passport is up to date. Now is the time to apply for a new passport or renew your old one, and Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi is offering free photos for passport and ID card applicants at her offices in Westfield and Elizabeth through April 30.

The processing time for a passport or passcard is currently six to eight weeks, so customers should plan accordingly and allow a sufficient amount of time to receive their passport before traveling.

Ms. Rajoppi will waive the normal $10 fee for having your photo taken when you apply for a passport, passcard or a Union County photo identification card at the County Clerk’s offices in Elizabeth and Westfield.

“We are happy to offer free passport photos until April 30th,” Clerk Rajoppi said. “The free passport photo is our way of trying to reduce your travel expenses a bit and encourage you to get your passport ready now for upcoming vacations.”

With significant changes in U.S. passport laws planned for June 1, a passport is required for all air, sea, or land border crossings to or from the United States. Passport application forms may be obtained at the County Clerk’s main office in the Union County Courthouse at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth or at the County Clerk’s office annex at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield.

“Our Elizabeth office opens at 7:30 a.m. and it has experienced, helpful, English and Spanish-speaking staff ready to assist you in any way we can,” Rajoppi said. “Our Westfield office has convenient evening and Saturday hours and is fully staffed also.”

The Westfield Annex of the County Clerk’s Office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays; 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Westfield Annex is the only County Clerk’s office
in the state that is open during evening hours. The phone number at the Westfield Annex is
908-654-9859.

The Elizabeth office of the County Clerk is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number in Elizabeth is 908-527-4966.

Passport application forms may be obtained at either of the Union County Clerk’s two offices. Applications for passports and related information also can be found online at http://www.ucnj.org/ctyclerk/passport.html (PLEASE NOTE: no “period” after “html”).

For domestic travel within the United States, teenagers who are older than 13 years of age and adults who don’t have a driver’s license can obtain a Union County photo identification card at the Union County Clerk’s office. Applicants for a photo identification card must bring their original birth certificate and proof of residency with them to the Clerk’s Office.

Clients are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to closing time to allow for staff assistance with the passport process. For more information about obtaining a U.S. passport, passcard or Union County photo identification card please call (908) 527-4966.