A passport is an internationally recognized travel document attesting to the identity and nationality of the bearer. In essence, it is a request on the part of the issuing government that officials of foreign governments permit the bearer to travel or sojourn in their territories and to afford them all lawful aid and protection. You may apply for a U.S. Passport Book or a U.S. Passport Card.
A valid Passport Book is required of U.S. citizens departing by air from the United States for any destination outside of North, South or Central America and for entering the United States from outside the United States. A valid Passport Card may only be used for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. For more information, please visit travel.state.gov.
The Clerk of Courts is the local government agency that may accept applications for passports. That application is then passed on to one of the passport services designated by the Secretary of State. The application is reviewed, is either issued or denied, and returned to the applicant by mail. This process may take 4-6 weeks. Passport fees can be found here.
Please review this helpful document that outlines our passport application process and provides a checklist, too. Passport Process Info and Checklist
Clerk Processing Deadlines
In the Green Cove Springs Office, all passport applications must be filed by 3:00 pm in order for the application to be mailed the same day, otherwise it will be mailed the following business day. If filing your application at the Orange Park Branch, all applications must be filed by 11am for same day mailing. Due to the length of time to process the passport application and accompanying paperwork, each office has a 4:00pm cut-off time to accept and file an application.
The appropriate application and renewal forms may be obtained at the Clay County Courthouse in Green Cove Springs, our Clerk of Court Orange Park Branch Office, or at most travel agencies. The forms must be signed in the presence of a Deputy Clerk at the time of filing. These forms are also available on the U.S. Department of State’s website, travel.state.gov.
Effective January 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of State will now require all customers applying for a passport to submit a clear copy of their citizenship evidence in addition to their original or certified copy of U.S. citizenship. If there is writing on both sides of the citizenship evidence, then copies must be made of the front and back of the document. A photocopy is required of primary U.S. citizenship evidence such as a certified birth certificate, naturalization certificate, consular report of birth abroad, and certificate of citizenship. Customers who submit an expired U.S. passport book or passport card as citizenship evidence do not need to submit a photocopy.
If there is no official record of your birth, you will need to contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics or Health Department of your birth state. They will issue a letter to this fact, which will allow other items to be accepted for proof of birth.
If you are a naturalized citizen, the original naturalization certificate must accompany the application for a passport. It will be returned by the passport agency. If you are not a U.S. Citizen, but need a passport, you must contact the nearest consulate for your country.
A Visa is permission granted by a country to an alien to enter that country and remain for a specific period of time. It is the responsibility of the traveler to obtain the necessary Visas, if any, before proceeding abroad. Visas are obtained from the embassy or consulate of the countries to which the applicant wishes to travel. We can assist with information as to what countries require Visas.
If your passport has been lost, stolen or mutilated, you must complete a new application, with new pictures, birth certificate and affidavit of lost or stolen passport. These forms are available at our office. The cost will be the same as applying for a new passport.
Denial of Application
If you are behind in your child support payments in excess of $2,500, you are ineligible to receive a U.S. passport. If this applies to you, Passport Services strongly recommends that you contact the appropriate state’s child support enforcement agency to make payment arrangements before applying for a passport.
Passports and Confidentiality
Information obtained from or in connection with a passport application is privileged under the Privacy Act of 1974 and under Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 51.33, and must not be divulged to any person or organization inquiring about such records. Request for information concerning an applicant’s personal background, address, travel plans , etc. should be referred to: Passport Services Washington, D.C. 20524.
Statistical data concerning passport applications handled by the Clerk’s Office, not including any information about specific applications, may be released, i.e. how many passport applications have been issued within a certain timeframe.