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Walk-Ins Now Accepted for Passports

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July 31, 2009

To better serve its customers, the County has resumed passport applications by walk-in from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary. For more information, the public can call (619) 531-5600.

Since May 2009, the County has processed 3,713 passports which is a 245 percent increase over the same period last year due to the change in the law which was effective June 1, 2009. 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 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.

The County of San Diego encourages travelers to apply for a passport book or passport card 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. At the County, there are no lines, no hassles and free two-hour parking!  No appointment is necessary.  Passport photos are also available for $10. First-time applicants will pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children. Additional information is available on the Clerk of the Board Web site.

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