Why The Harris County District Clerk's Office Will Start Offering Passport Services

Starting next month, the Harris County District Clerk's Office will offer passport services. The purpose is to close a service gap as post offices and federal buildings are closing or cutting back.

With the U.S. Postal Service in financial trouble and eliminating services, Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel thought it would be a good idea to join about 150 other district clerk offices statewide in offering passport services.

“And the purpose of that is to expand constituent services that would impact this very international community and international business community as well.”

In the Houston area, aside from some libraries, it’s primarily post offices that offer passport application services. Downtown at the Mickey Leland Federal Building, the Houston Passport Agency can be used for expedited passport requests, but the building will close for renovations starting on Labor Day.

Sandra Fernandez with the Houston Public Library says at those library branches that offer passport services, usually only one person can be serviced at a time and there is quite a demand. But:

Harris County Clerk Chris Daniel speaking to court
Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel speaking about his agency's planned passport service to the Commissioners Court.

“We don’t have any problems meeting the demands of the people who are currently seeking those services within the locations that offer it.”

In an emailed statement the U.S. Postal Service’s Houston branch said it will be great to have an additional passport processing center.

The application fee for a passport for an adult is $110 and the processing fee is an additional $25.

At the district clerk’s office, passport applicants will also be able to get their photograph taken on site for a $10 fee.

The new service is scheduled to start on August 1 at the Civil Courthouse downtown.

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Florian Martin

Reporter/NewsLab Coordinator

Florian Martin is the KUHF NewsLab Coordinator. While guiding and overseeing interns, he works on his own stories and is always on call to cover breaking news and other media events...