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Twp. adding passports to its list of services



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September 28, 2011 - For those who desire to travel outside this nation's borders, Oxford Township will soon offer a new convenience.

Thanks to the clerk's department, the township office (300 Dunlap Rd.) is on its way to becoming a place where folks can fill out and submit all the necessary paperwork to obtain a United States passport.

"It's just another service we can offer to the general public," explained Clerk Curtis Wright. "There's no other facility in Oxford where this service is available."

Wright, along with his department's two employees, Renee Wilson and Susan McCullough, successfully completed all the necessary training – both on-line and in-person at the Detroit Passport Agency – and passed the exam to become a certified acceptance facility for passport applications.

"It was pretty interesting actually just seeing what the process is and what the agency goes through," said Wright, noting the township is expecting to begin taking passport applications "within the month."

The township will not be responsible for approving applications or issuing passports.

It will simply be a convenient place at which area residents can fill out a passport application, present the necessary documentation and identification, and submit a photograph of themselves.

"We're like the frontline agent for passport issuance," Wright explained. "We take the information and we send it down to the Passport Agency in Detroit, then they'll process the information and determine whether or not to issue the passport . . . We're doing them and our residents a service."

The two-page passport application takes approximately 15 minutes to fill out and must be done in person at the township office. A person cannot take it home, fill it out and bring it back. "We have to witness it," Wright said.

Those wishing to obtain a passport must present a certified birth certificate that has both parents' names on it.

"It has to be a certified original," Wright said. "It cannot be a copy."

The original will be sent in with the application, then mailed back to the applicant.

Applicants must also present either a valid driver's license, state identification card, naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship.

In addition to filling out the application, those wishing to obtain a passport must take an oath swearing that the information they're providing is true.

All applicants must submit a photo of him or herself that measures 2 inches by 2 inches and was taken within the last six months to reflect their current appearance.

The photo must show a clear, front view and full face of the person against a plain and neutral, light-color background.

"They have to supply us with a photo," Wright said. "We will not be taking photos."

There are two types of passport available.

The first type is a card that permits a person to travel to another country by land or sea, but not air. "With a card, you can go to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Bermuda islands. That's what the card's valid for," Wright said.

The second type is a book (shown left), which permits international travel by air, land and sea.

Passport costs depend on the type and the age of the person applying. A person under the age of 16 can obtain a passport card for $15 or a book for $80. Folks age 16 and older must pay $30 for a card and $110 for a book.

In addition to the application fees, a $25 execution fee must be paid to the township to cover the administrative costs associated with being an acceptance facility.

All fees must be paid up-front at the township office.

For more detailed information about the passport application process, please visit travel.state.gov or call the township clerk's department at (248) 628-9787.

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