|The Ocean County Clerk Passports Services staff is making sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed when it comes to properly filling out passport applications and the U.S. Department of State has taken notice.|
“Our staff has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State National Passport Center for its ongoing compliance with the Passport Agent Reference Guide,” said Ocean County Clerk Scott M. Colabella. “And it’s not just one of our sites that has been recognized, it’s all of them.”
“The staff goes above and beyond to make certain the passport process moves along smoothly and accurately,” he said. “Their efforts have taken the guesswork out of obtaining a passport.”
While a passport is issued by the U.S. Department of State, the Passport Services staff at the Ocean County Clerk’s Office processes the applications including gathering all the necessary documents and photos. In 2021, the Ocean Clerk Passport Services team processed 14,259 Passport applications throughout four different sites operated by Ocean County. “We are processing about 1,188 passports a month,” Colabella said.
The Ocean County Clerk’s Office processes Passports at four different locations in Ocean County – The Ocean County Courthouse, Washington Street, Toms River, The County Connection at the Ocean County Mall, Toms River, the Ocean County Southern Service Center, South Main Street, Stafford Township and the Northern Ocean County Resource Center, 4th Street, Lakewood.
“The Ocean County Board of Commissioners commends the Ocean County Clerk and his staff in making certain anyone applying for a passport receives flawless service,” said Ocean County Commissioner Gary Quinn, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Clerk’s Office. “Their job isn’t easy. It’s imperative that the information and application is done correctly so the Passports are processed in a timely manner.”
“People rely on us to get a Passport not just for vacationing purposes but also for business and personal matters like visiting a sick family member,” Quinn said. “The Passport is a key document allowing us to travel outside the United States. It’s important we get it right, and we do.”
Each passport processing location under the Ocean County Clerk’s Office has been recognized with a perfect score, sometimes more than once.For instance, the Passport Services office at the Northern Ocean County Resource Center and the Ocean County Courthouse have both received three perfect scores following an Acceptance Facility Oversight Visit from the U.S, Department of State.
“We are very proud of Scott’s team and the dedication they bring to this service,” said Ocean County Board of Commissioners Director John P. Kelly. “When a program is monitored by an outside agency they are looking to make certain we meet all the standards. Our Ocean County Clerk and his staff meet those standards and exceed them.”
The inspection reviews acceptance procedures, information security, supplies and signage and training and records management. A perfect score is obtained when all the procedures are in compliance. In a letter to the staff along with Certificates of Achievement, Brian Stucker, Customer Service Manager, U.S. Department of State, National Passport Center wrote: “We recently received the site report from your Acceptance Facility Oversight visit and the program analyst that performed your facility’s audit was very impressed with your facility and found everything in compliance with the Passport Agent Reference Guide (PARG). We are happy to say that no required improvements were listed for your facility. Congratulations! Keep up the good work!”