February 22, 2011

If record snowfalls this winter have you planning a trip across the border to warmer climates, remember that a certified copy of your birth certificate is no longer acceptable when leaving or reentering the United States.  “If you are planning a trip across the border and back and need a U.S. Passport, the knowledgeable staff in the Office of the Westchester County Clerk can help you apply, including taking your picture,” shared Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni.    Routine passport applications take only a few minutes to complete and staff members are ready to assist in more complex cases. 
Most United States citizens must have a U.S. Passport or other Homeland Security approved travel documents to enter or re-enter the United States by air, land or sea.  However, children under the age of sixteen can still present a birth certificate or other proof of United States citizenship such as a naturalization certificate.  And there are special rules for students travelling with a school or religious group.

If you plan to apply for a passport, a certified copy of your birth certificate and a valid driver’s license is usually all you need.   But please visit www.WestchesterClerk.com or call (914)995-3086 to learn specific requirements.  The fee for an adult passport (an adult is age sixteen and over) is $135.00 and the fee for a child’s passport is $105.00.  If you need your passport in less than three weeks, an expedite fee of $60.00 per application can be paid to the Department of State in order to decrease the processing time.

The Office of the Westchester County Clerk serves as an agent for the United States Department of State and accepts passport applications in their office located at 110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in White Plains and is open from 8 am until 5 pm weekdays excluding legal holidays.  Visit www.WestchesterClerk.com or call (914)995-3086 for more information.