Passport Office Opens at Northeast Regional Library

By Julie B. Thu, July 6, 2017

The Free Library has always helped people explore new worlds—through fictional tales of far-off places and its international music collections, as well as through its robust foreign-language materials and travel resources. Now it can bring Philadelphians one step closer to their next foreign adventure or international family visit, through Northeast Regional Library’s new Passport Office.

Northeast Regional Library has been officially designated as a U.S. Department of State Passport Acceptance Facility, offering passport processing for new U.S. passports or passport cards, passport photographs, and expedited service. The Passport Office is on the first floor of the library, located at 2228 Cottman Avenue.

The Passport Office is open:

Tuesdays 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Fridays 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Appointments are available by calling 215-725-1740 or emailing passports@freelibrary.org. The office is staffed by two passport agents.

Across Pennsylvania, many public libraries now offer passport services, including those in Jenkintown, Ephrata, Kutztown, and Lancaster. The new Northeast Philadelphia location was chosen because the State Department saw the need for additional passport services in this area. The community surrounding the Northeast Regional Library has one of the highest percentages of foreign-born residents in the city of Philadelphia. The passport services add to the Free Library system’s robust offerings for new Americans, which include English-as-a-Second-Language classes, travel and foreign-language materials, online Citizenship Test preparation resources, online language tutorials for over 70 languages, and more. In February, Northeast Regional Library hosted an Immigration Resource Fair that highlighted these resources as well as employment and housing information.

Convenient access to passport services is more important than ever to Pennsylvanians. In accordance with the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005, beginning January 22, 2018 Pennsylvania residents who do not get a new REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identity card will be required to use a passport book or passport card, or other federally approved form of identification, for domestic air travel. Current Pennsylvania drivers’ licenses and ID cards do not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act. In addition, the State Department expects 10 million more passport applications in 2017 and 2018 than in the previous two years. To prepare for this increase, it has been opening more passport agencies and counters.

Note, the Northeast Regional Library Passport Office only handles applications for new passports. Those needing to renew a passport should visit the U.S. State Department’s website.

The Passport Office accepts money orders or personal checks; it does not accept cash. Costs for the available services are set by the State Department:

  • $110 for 4–6 week passport delivery (check payable to U.S. Department of State)
  • $170 for expedited passport delivery (check payable to U.S. Department of State)
  • $25 processing fee (check to Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation)
  • $10 photo fee, if necessary (check to Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation)

For more information about the services available at the Northeast Regional Library’s Passport Office, visit freelibrary.org/passports or call 215-725-1740.

The Northeast Regional Library Passport Office offers passport processing for new U.S. passports or passport cards, passport photographs, and expedited service.
The Northeast Regional Library Passport Office offers passport processing for new U.S. passports or passport cards, passport photographs, and expedited service.
The Passport Office is located at 2228 Cottman Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia.
The Passport Office is located at 2228 Cottman Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia.

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