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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Passport fair successful

About 25 people came to the Passport Fair, staged at The News-Herald by Maureen Kelly, Lake County Clerk of Courts, and two of her staffers. Freelance photographer Dustin Lopez also was on hand to shoot the required 2 by 2-inch photo for each applicant.

It's a service that's always available at some post offices and at the two Lake County Title Bureau offices, but Kelly took this effort on the road as set up at the newspaper's offices  in space generally dedicated to the Community Media Lab.

Applicants had to provide their birth certificate and show another form of identification, in most cases a drivers license. The application, which took most about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, included the usual name, address and phone number plus details about other names used, mother's maiden name,  date and place of birth for parents, eye and hair color and other identifying details.

Their were a fair number of applicants who said they wanted to visit Canada, and they were told about the Passport Card, a less expensive option that allows crossing the border by land and traveling by ship in the Caribbean. It's just $30 compared to the $110 for an an adult passport, but does not permit a return by air, even in case of an emergency. So most of those who want to get back to Canada applied for a regular passport, which is good for 10 years, Both the Passport Book and the Passport Card also have a $25 execution fee, in this case payable to the Clerk of Courts.

Lots of these folks said they were delighted to finally be applying for a passport so they could travel, You can hear the excitement in some of their voices if you view the two videos with this post.


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