Rhonda R. Deters, Grundy County Auditor, is pleased to announce that Grundy County residents and all U. S. citizens who need a new or renewed passport can now apply for one at the auditor's office at the Courthouse in Grundy Center rather than having to travel out of the county. Passport transactions were accepted at the county recorder's office until April 30, 2011, when the U.S. Department of State ordered them to stop. Because the county recorder's office can issue birth certificates, it was no longer able to do the same for passports because of the potential for fraud to occur. The Grundy County auditor's office is now authorized by the U. S. Department of State as a Passport Acceptance Facility.
Both Janell Ramsey and Heather Greiner, employees of the Grundy County auditor's office, have completed training as passport application acceptance agents and are authorized by the U. S. Department of State to accept applications on behalf of passport services. As a part of their training, Ramsey and Greiner were required to verify identity and validity of documents presented before them as well as to assemble the application package to improve the handling process of the passport application.
In order to obtain a first-time passport, an applicant needs to fill out an application for a U.S. Passport which is available on the county's website, www.grundycounty.org, or in the auditor's office. The applicant may then deliver the application together with a citizenship document, such as a certified birth certificate or a naturalization certificate; an identification document, such as a valid driver's license; and a passport photo to the auditor's office. A passport book is valid for ten years.
In addition to being able to accept passport applications at the auditor's office, members of the public may also get a passport photo taken at the auditor's office, which service is provided for a fee. This additional service is provided to order to make the auditor's office a one-stop shop for passport services. The equipment is set up so the dimensions of the photograph are exact to passport standards, and the printer is capable of printing two color photos in less than two minutes.
Also available is a passport card designed for people to use when traveling across the border to Canada or Mexico. If traveling by airplane, you must have a passport book, but if you are crossing the border by car, you may use the passport card. The card is less expensive than the book and fits in a wallet.
Persons planning international travel may apply for their passports on Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Grundy County auditor's office, 706 G Avenue, Grundy Center, Iowa. Any questions may be directed to the auditor's office at 319-824-3122, or you may visit travel.state.gov for additional passport and international travel information.