Passport Services

New passports (or passports five years past expiration) are required by the Department of State to be administered in person through a liaison known as an Acceptance Agency. Acceptance Agencies are tasked with facilitating the application process and act as a link between the customer and the Department of State. The Jefferson County Clerk of Court is currently registered and serves as the only Acceptance Agency within the county.

The passport process begins with the DS-11, which is the general application for obtaining all passports or passport cards. The Clerk of Court provides copies of the DS-11 for any customers in the office who wish to fill one out by hand. Customers also have the option of printing their copy (which can be filled out before printing) of the DS-11 from the website of the Department of State.

Once the customer has completed their DS-11, the Acceptance Agent will require the following items, all of which enable the Department of State to properly process the passport application:

  1. Proof of Identity (government-issued photo identification, i.e. driver’s license)
  2. Proof of citizenship (certified original birth certificate/naturalization certificate)
    -Certificates must be certified originals with the raised seal of the issuing agency.
  3. 2x2 photo with a blank background (can be obtained at businesses that take passport photos)
  4. A check or money order payable to the Department of State (for whatever item that you are applying for at the Acceptance Agency)
    - Standard adult passport books are $130.
    - Passport books for minors are $100.

*If you have an adult passport (obtained at age 16 or older) that has expired, the expired passport can be presented as proof of both identity and citizenship in place of the documents listed above*

After the Agent has gathered all documents and verified their information against one another, the Agent will ask the customer to sign his or her name affirming the application (much like an affidavit). The agent will then charge a $35 processing fee per applicant, which is a federal fee rendered to the Clerk of Court. All forms of payment are acceptable for this fee.

Shipping methods
Processing Times for U.S. Passports (state.gov)

  • $60.00 for expedited processing.
  • $19.53 to have the passport overnighted back to the customer.
  • $19.53 to overnight the passport to the processing facility.

The selection of all three options ensures that the passport card or book is guaranteed to be returned in 2-3 weeks.

Differences between passport books and cards
Passport books and cards can serve similar purposes in certain situations, but customers must understand the fundamental difference between the two when selecting which will best fit their needs. Passport books allow the owner to travel anywhere in the world via any form of transportation. Passport cards are cheaper and should be understood as a limited version of a passport book. Passport cards allow the owner land or sea travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. It is important to understand that in the event of an emergency during a trip, a passport card will not allow air travel back to the United States.

Passport lifespans
Adult passport books and cards (acquired age 16 or older) do not expire for 10 years. Minor passport books and cards do not expire for five years.

Passport applications for minors (age 15 or younger)
Federal regulation requires that both parents be aware of a minor applying for a passport. Both parents must be present along with the minor at the time of application. If a parent cannot be present, a signed, notarized affidavit from the absent parent along with a photocopy of that parent’s driver’s license (both front and back) will satisfy all requirements. If the absent parent is deceased, a death certificate must be produced.

Renewing a passport
The Department of State requires an individual to personally renew their passport if the passport was acquired as an adult (over the age of 16) and has not expired for more than 5 years. Forms and instructions for passport renewal can be obtained in the Clerk’s Office or on the Department of State’s website here. If the passport expired more than five years ago, or the applicant was not over the age of 16, then the process for obtaining a passport is the same as it is for new applications.