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What You Need to Apply for a Passport

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As a Passport Acceptance Facility, the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors is responsible for the following:

  • Reviewing your passport application for completeness,
  • Establishing proof of identify of the applicant,
  • Verifying citizenship information,
  • Administering an oath,
  • Witnessing applicant's signature,
  • Collecting fees,
  • And packaging accepted applications and transmitting them to the U.S. Department of State.

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 or Certificate of Naturalization.

3.

Proof of Identity
Must be a state- or government-issued identification or previously issued passport.

4.

One Passport Photo
We provide passport photo services.

5.

Payment for Acceptance Fees
Forms of payment are cash, check, or money order.

6.

Appear in Person
All applicants must appear in person.  Note there are special requirements for children under age 16.

After you have applied, we recommend that applicants:

  • Keep their receipts,
  • Check the status of their passport application by visiting the Bureau of Consular Affairs web site,
  • For questions regarding your application or other general questions, contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) at toll free 1-877-487-2778, TTY/TDD 1-888-874-7793, or via e-mail at npic@state.gov.

Passport Application Processing Steps

1. Complete the Form
First, identify the appropriate form, complete it, but do not sign.  Forms must only be signed when instructed by an acceptance agent.  Forms are available at our office and online at http://travel.state.gov.  The Department of State’s web site allows you to complete the necessary forms online and print them.  Using the incorrect form will delay the issuance of your passport.

If you are renewing a passport, you may be able to apply by mail.  Please visit http://travel.state.gov/passport/renew/renew_833.html for more information.

2. Proof of U.S. Citizenship
ONE of the following documents must be presented.  Please note, all citizenship documents are required to be sent with your passport application.  All documentation submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you.  These documents will be delivered with your newly issued U.S. passport or in a separate mailing. 

  • If you were born in the U.S., proof of citizenship can be in the form of a Certified Copy of your Birth Certificate issued by the state, city, or county of your birth. A Certified Copy will have a raised, embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal and the date the certificate was filed. Hospital Birth Certificates, and Abstracts from California and Texas, are not acceptable.
  • If you were born in the County of San Diego, you may obtain a copy of your birth certificate from the County Recorder/Clerk in Room 260, County Administration Center.
    Click here for a state-by-state listing of where to obtain a certified birth certificate for a particular state.
  • If you were born abroad, bring a Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, Report of Birth Abroad of U.S. Citizen, or a Certificate of Birth (Form FS-545 or DS-1350). Puerto Rican birth certificates are accepted as long as they are issued on or after July 1, 2010.

3. Proof of Identity must consist of one of the following:

  • A valid Driver’s License or State-issued Identification Card
  • A previously issued U.S. Passport that is still valid
  • Government or Military Identification that has the signature of the bearer
  • A Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
  • Foreign passports for parents or legal guardians applying for minors
  • A valid Pilot's license issued by the FAA

4. Submit One Passport Photograph

For your convenience, the Clerk of the Board offers passport photo services.  Passport photos are $10.  

Photos taken at other facilities must meet the following criteria:

  • In color
  • 2 x 2 inches in size
  • Printed on thin, photo-quality paper
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
  • Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
  • Taken in normal street attire:
  • Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily
  • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline
  • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture
  • Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required)              

5. Payment for Acceptance Fees

Passports require two fees:

(1) The acceptance fee, payable to the County of San Diego, separately from the passport fee, payable by cash, check, or money order to the County of San Diego.  We do not accept credit cards.  Be aware that if your check bounces, you may be referred to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.  Passing a bad check with intent to defraud is a crime.  Be sure you have adequate funds on deposit before you write a check.

(2) The Passport Fee, payable ONLY by check or money order to the U.S. Department of State.

The Clerk of the Board issues money orders for a nominal fee.  An ATM is located in the County Administration Center. Credit and debit cards are not accepted.

The total fee will depend on whether you select to apply for a passport card, a passport book, or both.  The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air.

For information about the fees, visit our fees information page.

6. Appear in Person

ALL passport applicants must appear in person, including minors under age 16.

Both parents must appear with a child under age 16.  If one parent cannot appear, a notarized consent must be obtained from the non-appearing parent. The non-applying parent or guardian must also provide a photocopy of the front and back of his or her ID with the consent form.  If the absent parent cannot be reached to give written consent, the applying parent must provide an explanation on the consent form as to why the absent parent cannot be present. If the child is over 16 years old, only one parent needs to appear.

Passport acceptance service at the County Administration Center is offered on a walk-in basis between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on County business days. The County Administration Center (CAC) offers free three-hour public parking in marked spaces for people conducting County business. The CAC is conveniently located near downtown San Diego at 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 402, San Diego, 92101. For public transit information, please visit the CAC parking information page. For additional questions, please contact us at (619) 531-5500.