It’s time to prepare for spring travel-but be aware of passport rules

NEPTUNE, NJ- Although winter is quickly approaching in Monmouth County, now is the time to plan for spring travel. With spring break just a few months away, County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon reminds everyone to check their passports.

“If you are planning spring travel out of the country, it’s time to apply for or renew your passport. Many countries even require six months validity on a U.S. passport, so it is important to check the expiration date in advance if you already have a passport,” said Hanlon, who is in charge of the passport offices in Neptune and Freehold.

Spring break travel is one of the most popular times of year to travel. By applying for a passport now, travelers will save themselves the aggravation of rushing to get a passport and also save money by not having to expedite service.

In addition, to take advantage of travel deals it is essential to have a valid passport. Hanlon reminds residents that some airlines require a valid passport number when booking international flights.

Passport applications are accepted at the County Clerk’s two Passport Offices:

  • Freehold - Monmouth County Clerk’s Office located in the Market Yard (south of Main Street). The hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Neptune - Monmouth County Connection at 3544 Route 66 (near Home Depot) The hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To obtain a passport, it is necessary to have a certified birth certificate with a raised seal, social security number, a passport photo 2x2 inches in size, and current identification such as a driver's license or government identification. Passport photos are available for a fee of $10 at both locations.

Parents who are making a passport application for a child under the age of 16 are required to appear together or submit additional documentation.

“Make sure to contact the Passport Office prior to appearing at a County passport office to be sure that you have the proper documentation and payments,” said Hanlon. “The rules and regulations are always changing, so be sure you are getting the most current information before you arrive.”

Hanlon is also warning travelers that beginning January 1, 2016 the service to add additional Visa pages using form DS-4085 will be discontinued. The determination to eliminate the visa page insert service was made by the U.S. State Department to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards.

“Passports are produced in two book sizes, 28 pages and 52 pages, in order to meet the travel needs of our customers,” said Hanlon. “There is no additional charge for requesting a 52 page Passport Book.”

For more information about applying for a passport and the documentation that is needed please go to the County Clerk’s webpage at www.visitmonmouth.com, or contact the Neptune passport office at 732-303-2828 or Freehold at 732-431-7324.