City Hall now offers passport service

April 1, 2011

By Tim Pfarr

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Need a passport? City Hall, 13020 Newcastle Way, began issuing passports March 21 on behalf of the Department of State. To apply for a passport or get your passport renewed, make an appointment to visit City Hall between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Bring a certified birth certificate, two passport photos and identification (such as a driver’s license), and be prepared to make two separate payments. You can have passport photos taken at Bartell Drugs, 6939 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., or the UPS Store, 6947 Coal Creek Parkway S.E.

Payment consists of a $25 fee per application and a variable fee depending on if you want a passport, a passport card (which is the size of a driver’s license and allows you to travel to Canada and Mexico only) or both. The variable fee must be paid by check or money order.

After applying, expect a four- to six-week wait for your passport. However, if you apply in May or during the summer, expect a six- to eight-week wait because of the high volume of applications received during that time.

City Clerk Bob Baker said both parents should be present if a minor applies for a passport.

Baker and Public Works Administrative Assistant Sarah Jacobs are certified to accept passport applications, and Administrative Assistant Aleta Phillips will soon be certified as well.

“We’re excited to be able offer it now. People are really going to like it,” Baker said, adding that the service is open to all citizens, not just Newcastle residents. “If somebody wants to stop in from Austin, Texas, I’ll help them too.”

For more information about the city’s passport service, call City Hall at 649-4444 or go to the city’s website, www.ci.newcastle.wa.us, and click the “Passports” links.

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