The Harris County District Clerk’s Office will offer a new service starting Aug. 1: acceptance of passport applications.

Commissioners Court green-lighted the passport project today.

The timing is great since the U.S. State Department’s downtown passport office in the Mickey Leland Federal Building will be closed from Labor Day to at least Thanksgiving. Customers will find the District Clerk’s Office is well-positioned to meet the passport needs of downtown employees and firms.

“Employers are going to be looking for an alternative, someplace where they can send workers to get quick, efficient service,” said District Clerk Chris Daniel. “My team is prepped and ready to go. We can meet the demands created by the renovations at the federal building.”

Walk-in customers may apply in Room 170, the court registry section, on the first floor of the Civil Courthouse at 201 Caroline. Clerks will be on hand weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appointments may be made by calling 713-755-7300.

            District clerk offices accept passport applications in about 150 counties statewide. Daniel said he decided to open one in the Harris County District Clerk’s Office as a convenience – people will have one more place to go to get a passport.

“People can avoid the long lines that plague some post offices’ passport operations by making appointments with the District Clerk’s Office,” Daniel said. “And companies may schedule an appointment for a group of employees headed out for overseas work.”

The District Clerk’s passport team will handle all types of passport requests, unlike the office in the federal building, which accepts only requests for expedited applications.

            The standard fee for passports will be $110 plus $25 for processing. Passport photographs will cost $10.