UNION COUNTY — For a limited time only, the Union County Clerk’s offices in Westfield and Elizabeth are offering free passport photographs as a special incentive for residents to apply for a passport. From Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Saturday, Feb. 1, the normal $10 cost of each photograph will be waived when a resident applies for a new passport or a passport renewal.
“With spring vacations just a couple months away, now is the time to make sure your passport is up-to-date,” said Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi. “My offices are helping travelers save on their vacation expenses by providing free photographs for those who apply for a passport while still providing a full range of passport services with no need for an appointment.”
U.S. citizens must present a valid passport book when entering or re-entering the United States by air. U.S. citizens entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean islands and Bermuda at land borders and sea ports of entry must present a passport book, passport card, or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government.
“Our Elizabeth office opens at 7:30 a.m. and it has experienced, helpful, English and Spanish-speaking certified passport agents ready to assist you in any way we can,” Rajoppi said. “Our Westfield office, which opens at 8 a.m. weekdays, has convenient evening and Saturday hours and also is fully staffed.”
Information about the cost and how to apply for a passport book and/or passport card is available at http://travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens may also obtain passport information by phone, in English and Spanish, by calling the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778.
Passport application forms may be obtained at the County Clerk’s main office in the Union County Courthouse at 2 Broad St. in Elizabeth or at the Colleen Fraser Building at 300 North Ave. East in Westfield. Applications for passports and related information also can be found online at: www.ucnj.org/Passports.
“Some countries require passports to be valid for an additional three, six or nine months after your visit,” Rajoppi added. “If your passport is due to expire within nine months of your international travel, you should renew your passport to ensure a smoother journey.”
The Westfield office is the only County Clerk’s office in the state that is open during evening hours. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The telephone number in Westfield is 908-654-9859.
The Elizabeth office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The telephone number in Elizabeth is 908-527-4966. Clients are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to closing time to allow for staff assistance with the passport process.
For more information about obtaining a U.S. passport, please call 908-527-4966.