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News Release

Clerk & Comptroller’s office receives perfect score on passport audit

Passport expiring soon? Here’s why you should renew it now!

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (February 9, 2016) – In 2015, the Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County, processed nearly 22,000 passport applications. Because of the convenience and excellent service provided, the office achieved a perfect score on the biennial passport audit conducted by the U.S. Department of State. The audit reviews passport acceptance services to ensure compliance with all existing written procedures, proper controls are in place and that any situations where fraud may occur are mitigated.

“Achieving a perfect score on the State Department’s audit is a testament to the professionalism and dedication of all Clerk & Comptroller employees,” said Clerk & Comptroller Sharon R. Bock, Esq. “Our convenient branch locations accept passport applications with no appointment needed, and passport photos are available on-site for one-stop shopping.”

In 2016, customers should allow extra time for new passport applications and renewals. According to the State Department, more than 17 million new passport applications and renewals are expected this year, an increase of 1.5 million from 2015. Processing time by the State Department will take about six weeks in 2016, up from four weeks last year.

The reason: A U.S. law that went into effect in 2007 requires U.S. citizens to use a passport when traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. As a result, nearly 18 million passports were issued in 2007 alone, and since passports are only good for 10 years, all of these will soon be up for renewal. Adding to the time crunch is the fact that many European countries won't accept passports within six months of their expiration date.

Apply for a passport Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Clerk’s branch offices in Delray Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, or Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Clerk’s branch office in Belle Glade. No appointment is necessary.

Passports are issued by the U.S. Department of State. Most passport renewals must be processed by mail. For additional information, go to http://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/passports.

The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.

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