Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi advises residents with overseas travel plans that the U.S. Department of State is continuing to experience extended wait times for processing passport renewals and new passport applications.
“Before you make travel plans, please be sure to check the expiration date on your passport,” said Ms. Rajoppi. “Most countries will not admit travelers with passports that will expire within six months, so be sure that your renewal is completed before the six-month period begins.”
The State Department is experiencing a wait time of 8-11 weeks for passport renewals and 5-7 weeks for expedited renewals. The same waiting period applies to new passport applications.
“We also remind travelers to make sure you are fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 before going overseas,” said Ms. Rajoppi. “Most countries require it, and vaccination is the surest way to reduce the risk of serious illness, long term health impacts, or death from the virus.”
Travelers who are renewing their passports for the first time this year will notice the State Department has redesigned the passport book.
The new “Next Generation Passport” was designed with added security and aesthetic elements including a polycarbonate data page, laser-engraved personalization and updated artwork. The art features detailed linework and ink colors that showcase U.S. architecture, history, culture, landscapes, and traditions.
The Next Generation Passport is being introduced for new passports and renewals only. Current passport holders may continue to use their books and cards until they expire.
For the latest updates on passport wait times at the State Department, and for additional details about renewing or obtaining a U.S. passport, visit travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.
The Union County Clerk is authorized to accept passport applications and forward them to the State Department for processing. This service is available in person and by appointment only.
To make an appointment at the County Clerk’s main office in the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth, use the online system: ucnj.org/county-clerk/county-clerk-online-appointment-system.
To make an appointment at the annex office in the Colleen Frasier Building, at the Union County complex at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield, use the online system: ucnj.org/county-clerk/county-clerk-online-appointment-system.
Passport photos are also available at both offices for a nominal fee of $10.00 each.
For more information about the County Clerk’s passport service, visit online at ucnj.org/county-clerk/passport-services or call 908-527-4966.
For more information about all County Clerk programs and services, visit online at ucnj.org/county-clerk or call 908-527-4787.
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.