Home » Mercer County Clerk issues warning to passport applicants and to veterans 

Mercer County Clerk issues warning to passport applicants and to veterans 

by Community Contributor

Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello is issuing two warnings to constituents that could cause a waste of precious time and money, two things no one needs to lose, she says. 

Passport Fees Required at all Passport Facilities

The U.S. Department of State advises all passport applicants that there are no free passports nor fee waivers, and that a fee is required for all passport applications.  Payment is required at all Passport Acceptance Facilities, including the Mercer County Connection in Hamilton Township and the Mercer County Clerk’s Office in Trenton. 

Recent social media videos circulating on the internet, which advise customers that passports can be free by submitting form I-912 are false, misleading and incorrect. The form they are referring to is for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and not for Passport Services. The form is NOT a Department of State form and it is not honored by them.

Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello explained that videos on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram are not being produced by government officials, and have created confusion among constituents who believe them to be accurate.

For further information on the Form I-192 and the individuals eligible, please visithttps://www.uscis.gov/i-192 for clear instructions and additional information.

For detailed information on documentation required for a passport, or office hours at the Mercer County Clerk’s Office, please visithttps://www.mercercounty.org/government/county-clerk-/office-services/passportsand for detailed information on services at the Mercer County Connection in Hamilton, please visit https://www.mercercounty.org/departments/county-connection/passport-application-information.

Veterans Filing Scam

Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello is alerting all Veterans of a fraudulent solicitation targeting those seeking assistance with filing their DD-214 discharge papers. The DD-214, or Certificate of Release or Honorable Discharge from Active Duty, is a vital document that verifies a Veteran’s military service and is often required when accessing various military benefits and entitlements. The Mercer County Clerk’s Office records such items free of charge, without the need for a middle man.

“Unfortunately, at least one opportunistic company is preying on Veterans by offering to file or obtain their DD-214 on their behalf in exchange for significant payments” said Covello.  A Company called “DD-214 DIRECT” out of Phoenix, Arizona is soliciting Veterans to pay to record copies of their discharge papers (DD-214). 

We want to emphasize that the Mercer County Clerk’s Office files and provides certified copies of DD-214 discharge papers free of charge. Veterans can visit our office or contact us directly to receive guidance and support throughout the process, without incurring any unnecessary fees. Often, we record such documents when a Veteran visits our office to obtain a US Veteran ID Card.

For additional information on Veteran Services, please call 609-278-7108 or 609-989-6465 or visit the Clerk’s Office online at https://www.mercercounty.org/government/county-clerk

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