A passport is an internationally recognized travel document attesting to the identity and nationality of the bearer. In essence, it is a request on the part of the issuing government that officials of foreign governments permit the bearer to travel or sojourn in their territories and to afford them all lawful aid and protection.
To apply for a new passport you must personally come to the Clerk’s Office at the Gulf County Courthouse, at 1000 Cecil G. Costin, Sr. Room 149, Port St Joe, Florida, or the Wewahitchka Annex Office at 151 N. 3rd Street, Wewahitchka, Florida.
Passport applications must be fully completed and presented for processing before 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time in the Port St. Joe office and 3:00 p.m. Central Time in the Wewahitchka office.
You will need a photo identification, preferably a valid drivers license or government identification card.
You must be an American citizen and have evidence of citizenship with you. The evidence of citizenship consists of a certified copy of your birth certificate issued by the city, county, or state health department where you were born. It must bear the seal of the issuing office, the signature of the registrar and the date the record was filed. A hospital birth registration or notarized copy of your birth certificate is not acceptable. If you are a naturalized citizen, you must provide your original naturalization papers. A previously issued passport is acceptable as evidence of American citizenship in lieu of a birth certificate or naturalization papers. These documents will accompany your passport application to Federal Passport Services and will be returned to you with your passport. If you do not have a birth record please contact the Clerk’s Passport Division for further information.
One passport style photograph that was taken within the last six months must be submitted with the application. The photograph must be color, provide a clear likeness of the applicant and be two inches by two inches in overall size. The photograph is to be a frontal view of the applicant without dark glasses or a hat. The background should be white or off-white. Photos made by an automatic booth type camera are not acceptable. Photos can be obtained in the Gulf County Clerks Office, located at the Courthouse in Port St. Joe, Florida for $12.00.
The application fee for a Passport Book is $130.00 for adults 16 and over, $100.00 for minors under 16 and is payable to US Dept of State with a check or money order only. The application fee for a Passport Card is $30.00 for adults 16 and over, $15.00 for minors under 16 and is payable to US Dept of State with a check or money order only. In addition to these fees, there is a $35.00 Clerk fee for each passport, and a $8.70 passport mailing fee for routine(non-expedited) passports, which is paid separately from the passport fee and may be paid with cash, check, cashier’s check or money order.
New passports are valid for 10 years from the date of issue for adults and 5 years from the issue date for minors.
Passport Forms are available at the Gulf County Clerk’s Office and also for download from the US Dept of State website.
Who is Eligible for No Fee Passports?
Certain applications may be accepted for processing at no charge based on the following criteria:
- If the applicant is a member of the armed forces who is traveling abroad on government business or a dependent of a member of the armed forces traveling abroad on government business, they are eligible. The branch of the armed forces that the applicant is a member of, will provide the applicant with a certificate of eligibility.
- If the applicant is an employee of the American Red Cross traveling abroad on Red Cross business or dependent of a member of the American Red Cross traveling abroad on government business, they are eligible.
- If the applicant is a United Seamans Service employee, they are eligible.
- An applicant who is a relative of a member of the armed forces who is being buried outside of the United States is also eligible.
No fee passports are normally valid for up to five years from the date of issue as long as the applicant meets the established criteria.
Expedited Passport and Hand Carried Processing
Passport Services assures processing within three business days from receipt of complete applications by Passport Agencies for applications that require expedited handling. This assurance does not include mail delivery time, two way overnight mail is strongly recommended. The turnaround time for expedited passports is between 5 to 7 weeks upon receipt at the Passport Agency. As of right now, the standard passport processing time is 8 to 11 weeks.
In addition to the application fee, a charge of $60.00 is to be paid for the expedite service and an additional $17.56 for return overnight postage. The check to Passport Services should include the application fee, expedite fee and postage. The Clerk’s postage fee for this expedite service is based on the current U.S. Postal Service rate. You must contact the Clerks Office to verify the expedite and postage fees.
In situations where the applicant is departing the United States immediately and there is not enough time for normal or expedited processing, the applicant may contact the Miami Passport Agency to make an appointment. It is an automated appointment system and the applicant should contact Passport Services at the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778; 1-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY) for instructions as to what is required.
Passport Renewal Requirements
Passport renewal forms are available in the Gulf County Clerk’s Office located at the Court House at, 1000 Cecil G. Costin, Sr., Blvd., Port St. Joe, Florida or the Wewahitchka Courthouse at 151 N. 3rd Street, Wewahitchka, Florida. The Clerk’s office does not execute renewal applications.
You must apply for a passport renewal by mail, the fee is $130.00. You may expedite your renewal by including the $60.00 expedite fee and $17.56 overnight return postage in your check. Passport Services will accept personal checks, please do not send cash. Make your check out to Passport Services.
To be eligible for a passport renewal by mail, you must meet the following criteria:
- Your most recent passport must have been issued to you no more than 15 years ago and you must submit that passport with your application.
- You were at least 16 years old when your most recent passport was issued. Minors under age 16 are not eligible to renew their passports by mail and must follow the instructions for first time applicants.
- Your name has not changed since your most recent passport was issued or your name was changed by marriage or court order. You must submit documentation with your renewal application evidencing the name change.
- A passport style photograph that was taken within the last six months must be submitted with the application. The photograph must be in color and provide a clear likeness of the applicant and be two inches in overall size. The photograph is to be a frontal view of the applicant without dark glasses or a hat. The background should be white or off-white. Photos made by an automatic booth type camera are not acceptable.
- Processing times can vary depending on workload and occasional unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters. During busier times, such as the spring/summer travel season, we encourage customers to expedite their applications if traveling in less than 8 weeks.
Miami Passport Agency
The Miami Passport Services Agency is located at:
51 SW First Avenue, Miami, Florida 33130
Passport Services is located in the downtown Federal Office Building.
Directions: Take I-95 South to Exit 3A (Miami Avenue). Take the first right. Go two blocks and turn right onto SW First Avenue. Turn left at the light. The Federal Office Building is across the street from the Courthouse.