Heading Abroad for the Holidays? Apply for Your Passport Now

With the holidays around the corner, many families are planning to travel abroad for adventure or to visit family. Now is the time to apply for your passport book or card, and you can do so at the County Administration Center downtown.

The County Clerk of the Board offers passport walk-in services with no appointment necessary at its office at 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 402. The service is offered from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding County holidays.

“It can take four to six weeks to get a routine passport. To reduce the added stress and pressure of the holidays, we encourage people to apply for passports now, before the holiday break begins,” said Thomas Pastuszka, County Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. “If you are thinking about traveling or visiting family abroad, or have a job that requires international travel, you’ll need a passport. For those needing to cross the border on a routine basis, having the passport card will get you into the Ready Lane which could save hours of waiting in line.”

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.

In the event of an emergency involving a family member abroad, a short-notice airfare bargain, or an unexpected business trip, having a valid U.S. passport on hand will save you time, money and stress.  Apply for your passport or card now and check this item off your holiday to-do list. 

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

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