How to get your passport

The world is opening back up and people are ready to get their travel fix. Before booking your international vacation, make sure you have a valid passport!

Lucky for our community, Emanuel County Superior Court is a local passport acceptance facility. The clerk’s office is located in the courthouse at 125 South Main Street in Swainsboro. Routine passport processing takes four to eight weeks with an expedited option of two to four weeks, so be sure to plan ahead. To get started, you need an application form, photo ID document, proof of citizenship, and your passport photo.

To get an application form, there are a couple of options. There are printable copies on the U.S. Department of State’s website, and copies available at the passport office. This application can be filled out at home or in the office, but it must be signed in person in front of a passport designated witness. There are no online applications, so be careful and only fill out printed forms.

Be sure to bring your photo ID document and proof of citizenship. For photo ID, you must have either a driver’s license or a military ID. For proof of citizenship, you can have primary or secondary original proof of citizenship documents. Primary documents include birth certificates, old passports, certificates of naturalization, and certificates of citizenship. Secondary documents include delayed birth certificates, a letter of no record issued by the state, early public or private documents that include full name, date, and place of birth.

In Emanuel County, you are responsible for your own passport photo. An acceptable passport photo is a clear and quality 2”x2” camera picture in front of a white background. To make sure the photo is passport quality, Walgreen’s has a passport photo service with same-day pickup.

Also, be sure to plan your passport expenses into your vacation budget. For adults over the age of 16, passport book and card renewals and first-time applications cost $140 with a $35 acceptance fee. For children under 16, it is $90 with the $35 acceptance fee. Expedited service comes at a price tag of an additional $60. (The process can become a bit pricey, but adult passports are valid for 10 years.)

Emanuel County Superior Court is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its phone number is 237-8911.

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