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Given the confusion created by President Trump’s recent Executive Order and the subsequent judicial restraining order affecting travel from several countries, Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello is reminding constituents and U.S. citizens of the importance of obtaining a valid U.S. Passport now.

Sollami Covello stresses that any child born in the United States – no matter the parents’ nationality status – are U.S. citizens and eligible to receive a passport.

“For those Mercer County parents, whose children were born here in the United States, no matter the parents’ nationality or immigration status, it is important that their children obtain a U.S. passport so if the re-entry issues caused last week by the Trump Administration Executive Order occur again, their U.S.-born children will have their rights protected by being able to produce a valid U.S. passport. It will also benefit these children if their parents are unable to re-enter the U.S., since the children will have the legal protection of holding a U.S. passport to stay abroad with their parents,” noted Sollami Covello.  “We are a service office and I’m glad we can do our part to legally keep Mercer County families together. I believe in this time of uncertainty that the public needs to know the process for international travel.  And, remember, passports are also a great form of identification — even if you choose not to travel.”

The Mercer County Clerk’s Office processes passports in the Trenton Office at 240 West State Street, on weekdays  from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on Mondays through Fridays, with late hours on Wednesday evenings until 6:45 (arrive by 6:30pm), at 240 West State Street.  The Hamilton location, in the Mercer County Connection satellite office at Route 33 and Paxson Avenue, is open Mondays through Saturdays for passports. The Hamilton office offers late hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 7:00 (arrive by 6:30), with Saturday hours from 10am to 2pm (arrive by 1:30pm) for the convenience of Mercer residents. Both locations even offer the ease of having your passport pictures taken on site.  The County Clerk also travels to various municipalities throughout the year for passport service days, having just completed a series of these outreach visits in the fall, and with plans to hold passport days in East Windsor, Princeton and Lawrence this spring.

You can schedule an appointment to have your passport processed there with our passport department at 609-989-6473.  The Mercer County Clerk’s passport outreach schedule for this Spring will soon be posted on the County Clerk’s website, at www.mercercounty.org.

The passport book is accepted for all air travel while the passport card has a more limited use and is generally used at seaports and border crossings by land or sea.

The regular passport fee, which must be in the form of a separate check or money order, costs $110 for adults (ages 16 and older) and $80 for children.  There is also a $25.00 processing fee for Mercer County.  Photos require a separate fee.

Detailed requirements on what is needed to apply for a passport, and costs, can be found at the County Clerk’s passport information page at http://nj.gov/counties/mercer/officials/clerk/services/passports.html or on the Federal website at travel.state.gov.

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