Government

County Passport Acceptance Facility Named Nation’s Best

Passports
Passports

The State Department has named the County’s passport application office the best public acceptance facility out of 8,000 operations of its kind in the nation. The award recognized the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors passport office’s superior customer service and implementation of a new online appointment system.

The award states that the office at the County Administration Center in downtown San Diego serves “as a shining example for all passport acceptance facilities.”

The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors accepted the 2018 Acceptance Facility of the Year (Public) award from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, D.C. on Friday. The department’s National Awards Program for Passport Acceptance Facilities and Acceptance Agents recognizes facilities and agents who have gone above and beyond in offering customer service or implemented innovation that streamlines processes and enhances the customer experience.

Passport Award
L to R: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Karen Christensen, San Diego County Clerk of the Board David Hall, San Diego County Assistant Clerk of the Board Andrew Potter, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services Rachel Arndt

“Our office is not only one of the busiest passport acceptance facilities in the county, but I’m proud to say it is one of the best too” said Clerk of the Board David Hall.

The County began accepting passport applications in 1999. To date, it has accepted more than 253,000 applications.

In February 2018, the County switched from a walk-in to an appointment-only facility. The change has resulted in decreased wait times for applicants. Since then, 18,154 appointments have been scheduled for passport services through its online system.

If you are planning to travel internationally, make your passport application appointment today. Applicants can make appointments online up to three weeks in advance. Customers can cancel and reschedule appointments online as well. In addition, they can receive text reminders for their appointment.

A passport book is required for international air travel or for those who cross the international borders into Mexico or Canada. A passport card is often used in communities where crossing the border is a daily occurrence but can also be used at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry for travelers arriving from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

To quickly process your passport application, be prepared with the following:

  1. Completed Application: Do not sign the form.
  2. Proof of U.S. Citizenship: Must be a birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, or one of several other specific documents.
  3. Proof of Identity: Must be a state- or government-issued identification or previously issued passport.
  4. One Passport Photo: The office provides passport photo services.
  5. Payment for Acceptance Fees: Forms of payment are cash, check or money order only. Credit and debit cards are not accepted.
  6. Appear in Person: All applicants must appear in person. Please note there are special requirements for children under age 16.

Free, three-hour parking is available at the County Administration Center. The parking garage entrance is on Ash Street between North Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway.

You can find additional information on the Clerk of the Board’s Passport Application web page.

Additional walk-in passport facilities are located nearby. Please check the agency’s websites for hours of service or visit travel.state.gov.

Michelle Mowad is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact