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Passports, info offered at Saturday fair

Thinking about a summer vacation to Canada? If so, you might need to take a shorter trip Saturday to the city-county Government Center in Rochester.

A "Passport Fair" will explain the rules as well as who needs the legal documents.

  • When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
  • Where: The passport office at the government center, 151 Fourth St. S.E.
  • Why should I go? Learn about the passport application process, submit an application and have passport photos taken.
  • What are the new passport rules? Beginning June 1, U.S. citizens will have to present a passport book, passport card or other approved travel documents to re-enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
  • What’s the difference between a passport book and a passport card? A passport book is what most people call a passport — the ID document required for international travel, says Joan Boesen, manager of the license bureau. A passport card can be used to enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. The passport card is the size of a credit card.
  • What should you bring? First-time applicants need:

1. An application (available on site).
2. Evidence of U.S. citizenship (a previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport; a certified birth certificate; a consular report of birth abroad; a naturalization certificate; or a certificate of citizenship).

3. Personal identification (driver’s license, government ID, military ID).

4. Two passport photos.

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  • How much does it cost? To apply in person, the cost for a passport book for people 16 and older is $100; younger than 16, $85. A passport card is $45 for people 16 and older, $35 or those who are younger.
  • What about photos? Boesen said the office can take photos for applicants. The fee is $15.
  • How long will it take to get a passport? Six to eight weeks.
  • Any special rules for children? Yes. Children younger than 16 should have both parents present and photo ID for all three is requested, said Boesen. Children might need to use a school ID as photo identification.

For more information, call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 or go to www.travel.state.gov.
Research: Elizabeth Jones , ejones@postbulletin.co

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