San Diego taking US passport applications for first time in 4 years

SAN DIEGO - The city of San Diego Monday began taking U.S. passport applications for the first time in four years.

The city clerk's office opened its Passport Acceptance Facility in a corner of the lobby of the City Administration Building at 202 C St. Councilwoman Sherri Lightner was the first applicant.

In remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Bob Filner said people should be able to conduct business with government agencies at places where they normally visit.

"Most people don't really know the difference between federal, state, county, city -- they want services, and they want them efficiently and they want them conveniently," Filner said. "And we all should be providing places where we can get all these services. And if you can get a passport, which is a federal thing, at City Hall -- wonderful."

City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said San Diego used to accept passport applications at community service centers, but those facilities were shut down in 2009.

The new location at City Hall will be open weekdays on an appointment-only basis from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 619-533-4050, Maland said.

Passport books cost $135 for those aged 16 and up, and are $110 to renew. For children, the cost is $105.

Passport cards are $55 for first-time purchases by adults, $30 for renewals and $40 for children.

Extra services, like file searches or expedited processing, cost extra.

Maland said the city will receive a cut of the fees, but there was no revenue estimate for the first fiscal year.

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