Add passports to the list of services offered at the Monroe County Tax Collector’s office. Starting Monday, March 15, residents can stop by the office inside the Harvey Government Center to apply.

On February 3, the office became an official passport acceptance center after receiving final approval from the U.S. Homeland Security and State Departments in Washington, DC Newly elected tax collector Sam Steele said that the office became the second tax collector’s office in Florida to provide this service.

“It’s very exciting,” Steele said, “I’ve been working with the US State Department to get approval for this high-demand service since November. Jennilyn, Patti, Carmen, Mercedes and Christina have successfully completed the 10 hour certification course and are now official passport acceptance agents.

This service will currently only be available at the Key West main office in the Harvey Government Center. Based on the success of the program, Steele said his office would explore the opportunity to implement the service at the Plantation Key Office in the future.

Customers wishing to obtain a passport at the Key West office must make an appointment (only requests for original passports will be processed, not renewals). The passport officer will verify the identity of the client, ensure that the appropriate forms have been completed correctly and that the required documents have been submitted.

Customer will write a check or money order directly to the US Department of State for their charges and a separate payment to the tax collector’s office (check or credit / debit card only). The agent will send requests to the State Department by priority mail on a daily basis with a tracking number, and the agent is responsible for tracking the package for seven days until it is received in the PO Box.

The Collector’s Office will charge a required processing fee of $ 35, an optional photograph fee of $ 20, and an optional shipping fee of $ 25.50. Steele said, “With the potential to raise up to $ 80.50 per transaction, this is a great way to increase our bottom line, generate more revenue for the county, and provide an essential service to the public. We are now a one stop shop for original passports.

Original passport services will be available at the Harvey Government Center, located at 1200 Truman Ave., Suite 101. To make an appointment or have any questions, please call (305) 295-5000.

Esther L. Steinbach