UNION COUNTY, — Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi invites Union County residents to participate in Passport Day, scheduled for Saturday, April 9. Participants are encouraged to apply for a passport or renew their existing passport during extended hours, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All county residents will receive a free passport photo on that day. The event will take place at the County Clerk’s Office Annex in Westfield, 300 North Ave. E. No appointments are necessary, but all applicants must arrive by 1:30 p.m. The typical $10 photo fee will be waived for all applicants, including renewals and new applicants.
“Residents who don’t have a U.S. passport should consider Passport Day for applying for their passport” Rajoppi said. “Travel plans can happen quickly, and some countries will not accept a U.S. passport with less than six months validity. It’s more important than ever to check the expiration date on passports.”
Rajoppi also recently noted that new standards will apply to driver’s licenses regarding safety at airports and other federal facilities. The New Jersey deadline to implement these changes has been extended until October.
Passport Day was first established in 2008, to help travelers avoid last-minute issues. Budget cuts forced an end to the State Department’s program but Rajoppi has continued to host an annual Passport Day. She believes it can also help families save money.
“My office provides an easy, convenient way to conduct your passport business,” Rajoppi said. “Especially if you’re traveling with a family, the free photo savings on Passport Day can add up to significant savings.”
A large turnout is expected on April 9 to take advantage of this opportunity to save money and renew or apply for a passport. It’s also important to make sure all passport information is currently up to date, for example, name changes. It would probably be wise to arrive early to avoid a long wait. It would also make sense to clear the schedule for the afternoon in case of any delays.
“I’m thinking about participating in Passport Day,” said Kaitlyn Davies of Rahway. “I could only imagine how crowded it may be, but I will know for sure if I will attend closer to the date.”
With spring and summer coming, it’s that time of year for people to start planning a vacation. Taking advantage of Passport Day will ensure that Union County residents have a valid passport in time for travel plans. It also allows them to do so without having to pay a fee for the photo.
“A valid U.S. passport will enable you to board your flight whether traveling domestically or overseas. It provides you with peace of mind, regardless of your driver’s license status,” said Rajoppi.
Having a valid U.S. passport allows for any last minute travel plans in addition to providing citizens with a form of identification that can be used for numerous purposes. It’s just one way to reduce the amount of stress involved in some of these instances. Rajoppi has continued to offer this service to Union County residents as a way to help them save money in addition to encouraging them to apply for a passport.
For more details about the county clerk’s passport services, including links to passport information from the State Department, visit the county clerk online atucnj.org/county-clerk, call the Westfield Annex at 908-654-9859, or call the main office in Elizabeth at 908-527-4966.