Mar 27, 2010 8:47 PM
It is Passport Day in the U.S.A. and Butte County is taking part! It's the first time for the local clerk-recorder's office to participate, but the second year for the U.S. Department of State to hold the event. The goal is simple, to give people information about passports and "for individuals and families that can't make it during the week, this is an opportunity for them to come in and have their passport processed," Supervisor for the Butte County Clerk Recorder's Office Myles Pustejovsky said.
For some, it meant an opportunity to avoid any fee hikes. "We had heard that there was going to be an increase in how much it will cost, so we decided to come today and take care of it when they had a special day," Mike Emmons stated.
They heard correctly. Right now, a proposal is underway to increase first-time passport costs from one-hundred and five dollars to one-hundred and thirty-five. The fee increase is based on a cost of service study the Department of State conducted in June 2009. No decisions have been made on the proposal. Still Emmons is glad to get his passport so he can visit his family. "My son lives in England, or actually is going to school in England, we're hoping to visit him, and my other son works for a cruise line, and hopefully we can do some stuff with him."
Lines were steady all day. In all, about forty people came in Saturday to apply for a passport, twice the business they get during a full week. "From my personal observation, over last year there's a few more people coming in for a passport this time last year and more families it seems are coming in, the whole group's getting passports," Pustejovsky explained.
Once the application is filled out and the fees are paid, it takes about four to six weeks for the passport to arrive in the mail.
Since June first of last year, U.S. citizens are required to have a passport or other travel document when entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.