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Passport station to accept applicants on a Saturday

Many passport stations — including the one at the Sedgwick County Register of Deeds Office — will be open one Saturday later this month to accommodate people who can't make it during regular business hours.

"Passport Day in the USA" is a good opportunity for people planning to travel overseas this summer or later this year to get their paperwork in order, said Bill Meek, the register of deeds.

"It's a big passport push prior to summer travel," Meek said of the day, which will be March 27.

Meek's office began taking process applications about three months ago. Many people probably don't realize that the office, which is in the Sedgwick County Courthouse, offers the service, Meek said.

The office will be open March 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To apply for a passport, people should bring:

* Their certified birth certificate.

* Their driver's license. If not old enough to drive, they need to bring a school ID card or school record or some other identification that proves who they are.

* A check for the State Department fee and a check or cash for the transmittal fee, paid to the register of deeds office. As of Monday, the total fee was $100.

The Register of Deeds Office also offers passport photo services for $10.

Its office is on the fourth floor of the courthouse. Because the courthouse typically isn't open Saturdays, people interested in applying for a passport are asked to park in the county parking garage and come in to the courthouse at the employee entrance on the north side. Someone will escort applicants in groups to the fourth floor.

Passport information is available at www.travel .state.gov. Click on the "Passport Day in the USA 2010" link. It typically takes four to six weeks for the State Department to process applications, Meek said. Expedited passports are available for an extra cost.

Passport applications also are available at post offices as well as the Andover Public Library and the register of deeds offices in some counties such as Harvey and Kingman.

You can find out whether an office is participating in Passport Day by visiting the travel site online.

Information also is available by calling the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 877-487-2778.

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