County clerk: get passport now to save money

Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski is encouraging those who do not yet have a passport to come to the Register of Deeds Office and apply soon to save money. 

The federal government announced an increase of $10 on the “acceptance fee” part of the application process which will take effect April 2.

The new total for first-time passport applicants will be $145. The current fee is $135, which includes the initial application fee of $110 and a $25 acceptance fee, which will be rising to $35. 

The fee schedule is set by the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C. “Allegan County does not set those fees, just collects them.” Genetski said. “If it were up to me, we would keep the current price.”

Clerk Genetski said the fee increase will not affect those renewing passports by mail.

More Allegan County residents are obtaining passports as they (or a birth certificate) are necessary documentation to obtain an Enhanced Michigan Driver’s License. Enhanced Driver’s Licenses are considered REAL-ID compliant by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020 a REAL-ID compliant identification will be necessary to board a domestic airline flight or enter certain federal facilities.

The Allegan County register of deeds office processed 279 applications in 2017. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary to submit the application. The office can be reached at (269) 673-3282 for questions prior to applying.

In encouraging people to apply now, Genetski said, “While a $10 increase does not seem like a lot, for a family with children, the increase adds up quickly. 

“We had one man in the office who has 12 kids, and kids under 16 have to renew theirs every five years.” 

Adult passports are good for 10 years.

For more information on the REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, visit www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_81569—-,00.html

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