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County clerk shuts down passports

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Travelers will no longer be able to obtain a passport from the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder as of Feb. 1.

Citing dwindling fee revenues and increased regulations on the issuance of passports, County Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald told county supervisors on Jan. 4 that it’s no longer cost-effective for her office.

The Office of the Clerk-Recorder has been a designated agent for passport applications since 1982.

“In essence, we were the only game in town for a very long time,” Rodewald told supervisors.

Since Sept. 11, there’s been less travel, Rodewald said. Between 2003 and 2004, the volume of passport applications dropped 40 percent, and last year’s applications were down about 60 percent from what they were in ’03. Additional regulations—including an ’08 change that required a passport rather than just a birth certificate for travel to Canada and Mexico, and rules separating passport and birth certificate services—made it less feasible for the clerk to process applications.

Rodewald noted that many SLO County post offices still accept applications. More information on passports can be found at travel.state.gov.

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