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Appointments Now Needed for Passports

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To better serve its customers, the County will accept passport applications by appointment only as of June 4.

Appointments can be scheduled by calling (619) 531-5600.

Since May 22, the County has processed 1,286 passports and lines have stretched into the halls of the County Administration building. Under normal circumstances, the County processes approximately 350 passport applications per month.

“To ensure processing customers in a timely manner, we strongly encourage all residents who need a passport to schedule an appointment in advance before coming to our office. Making the appointment will make the process quicker and easier,” said Thomas Pastuszka, County Clerk of the Board.

On Monday, June 1, the second phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) went into effect, and travelers must now have a passport book, passport card or other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

Residents need these documents to be able to re-enter the U.S. when returning from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda by land or sea ports-of-entry.

The first phase of this initiative, which went into effect in 2007, required passports for re-entering the U.S. by air in those locations. Without the proper travel document, travelers will be denied entry into the U.S.

The passport card is different from a passport book because it was designed to meet the requirements of the land and sea phase of the WHTI. The passport card is valid in border communities where crossing the border is a daily occurrence. The passport card is not valid for international air travel.

The passport card may only be used at U.S. and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. A passport book is required for international air travel.

To schedule an appointment to apply for a passport book or passport card, call (619) 531-5600.

Once you make an appointment, your application will be processed at the County Administration Center at 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 402 in San Diego. Normally, it can take up to six weeks to receive your passport; however for an additional fee you can receive it within two to three weeks if you need to travel.

Additional information

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