Last fall, the Glen Ellyn Public Library became an official Passport Acceptance Facility.
Eleven members of the Adult Department staff trained to become passport acceptance agents. "It's a great service we can now provide the community," said Susan DeRonne, Adult Department Director.
By the end of 2016, the library had processed at least 100 passport applications. In the first four months of 2017, the library processed an average of 100 passports each month.
Over the summer, ten members of the Youth Department staff also trained to become passport acceptance agents. "The idea is that the Youth Department handles families and children, so the kids have a space they can play in," said Stephanie Rivera, Youth Department Director. "The process can be long and complex, and kids don't always want to sit for it."
Appointments for passport application at the library are not available; applicants may simply walk-in and request assistance. There are several steps for passport applicants to complete before submitting their passport application, with the help of a passport acceptance agent.
Applicants must be present during the passport processing procedure. For all minor applicants under the age of 16, two parents and the minor child must be present.
Applicants must present a valid photo ID, a photocopy of that ID and original proof of citizenship, such as a certified, original birth certificate, naturalization papers, or a U.S. passport for applicants over 16. "Our job is to be sure the person in front of us is the person they say they are," DeRonne said.
Providing the service also produces revenue for the library. Passport fees can be paid with either a personal check or money order. There is an additional $25 execution fee that the library charges that must be paid separately with cash, check, or credit card.
Since the program began, it has generated about $11,000 for the library.
The process of applying for a passport at the library can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how well-prepared the applicant is upon arrival and how complex their situation may be. The library's passport acceptance agents will do all they can to assist applicants and help ensure that the paperwork is filled out correctly and completely. "Our goal is to get it right the first time," DeRonne said.
The library does not handle passport renewals, nor does it provide passport photos. Applicants should have a photo taken ahead of time and bring it to the library when applying for a passport. For more details visit gepl.org/passports.
Regular passport applications take from 6 to 8 weeks to process; with expediting, it takes 2 to 3 weeks. There is a $60 fee to expedite.
Passport services are available from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm Mondays through Thursdays, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm Fridays, from 9:30 to 11:30 am and from 1:30 to 3:30 pm Saturdays, and from 1:30 to 3:30 pm Sunday.