Shelby TownshipDecember 23, 2013
Clerk’s Office sees soaring passport growth
By Sarah Wojcik
C & G Staff Writer
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Township Clerk Stanley Grot reported that his office, which also serves as a full-service Passport Acceptance Facility for both passport cards and passport books, experienced a 400 percent increase in passport processing in a 12-month period.
In 2012 and 2013, Grot said the office processed 1,770 applications for a net profit of $49,284, compared to 390 applications bringing in $12,114 in 2011 and 2012. He added that the month of January 2013 was the busiest: His office received 303 applications.
He said his office accomplished increased passport processing without extra staff, overtime or additional costs or resources, and that applicants are generally in and out of the office in 20 minutes.
“Word has spread how easy it is to conduct service with the Clerk’s Office because of great and friendly customer service. Revenue skyrocketed and continues to contribute to the general fund,” Grot said. “(Processing here prevents a) long drive to downtown Detroit or long wait at the post office.”
Typical applicants must provide an original birth certificate or certificate of naturalization, a driver’s license or student ID and cash or check. Passports for minors 15 years old and younger are valid for five years. Passports for adults are valid for 10 years.
Deputy Clerk Brian Fairbrother said applicants are charged two costs — $25 to the township, plus $80 for minors, or $110 for adults to the U.S. Department of State — for a sum of either $105 for minors or $135 for adults. Passport photos are an additional $10.
“The prices are pretty much standard throughout the United States, so there is no competition between us and the post office,” Fairbrother said. “One huge advantage the Clerk’s Office offers is we don’t require an appointment.”
Passport applications are accepted during office hours — 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday — and generally take four to six weeks to be processed. For an additional fee, passports may be expedited in two to three weeks.
“Please visit us soon,” Grot said. “We need the revenues.”