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County passport process seeks to improve

By Randy Pierce

Pending anticipated final approval by the elected board of Madison County, an expedited passport procurement process is expected to be implemented soon at the office of its circuit clerk. 

In approving an ordinance implementing a new fee for this service, the county board’s judiciary committee, earlier this month, voted to recommend to the full board, with none of the elected officials present offering any objection, initiation of a procedure where a photo is taken at the same courthouse location where the applications for passports are procured, submitted and processed.

Previously, anyone seeking a passport had to bring a photo taken at another location with them to the circuit clerk’s office and submit it with their application.

Madison County Circuit Clerk Tom McRae told the judiciary committee that this “one-stop shopping” concept is being pursued as a convenience to residents so that they do not have to go to a retail location for their passport photo before coming to his office to complete the process. The fee to be charged for the photo at the courthouse is expected to be less, he noted, than what it would be at other places.

Being installed at the courthouse circuit clerk’s department, with some minor remodeling taking place, McRae said, is a special camera designed for this purpose that is integrated with a computer and printer so that the passport system is much easier for those participating in it. There will be a background screen set up for the passport seekers to stand in front of, he added.

It is recommended that anyone wishing to get a passport apply several months prior to their planned departure from the United States with those in a hurry to procure one being charged an additional fee to speed up the processing time.

Proof of United States citizenship and a photo identification card or driver’s license are required when submitting the appropriate passport application form which can only be accepted in person. The forms are available at or at the office of the Madison County Circuit Clerk in Room 120 in the courthouse at 155 North Main Street, Edwardsville between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding holidays. 

Further information is available by calling 618-692-6240, extension 0.   

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