County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:

August 21, 2014


September is National
Passport Awareness Month

County Connection offers free seminars and programs all month

NEPTUNE, NJ – The Monmouth County Connection will celebrate National Passport Awareness Month by offering free passport photos every Monday for the entire month of September to passport applicants who apply at the County Connection the same day.

“If you need a new passport or to renew your passport, September is the time to do it,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry. “The County Connection offers service with a smile and great free programs all month long.”

The County Connection will also offer a free giveaway item for those applying for a passport during the month of September while supplies last.

“Residents who don’t have a U.S. passport should consider applying for their passport now,” said Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French. “You never know when you may have to travel on short notice. Residents with U.S. passports should check the expiration date and start the renewal process about two months ahead of time.”

French also advises people to apply for passports early, well before their planned departure date.

To obtain a passport, it is necessary to have a certified birth certificate with a raised seal, social security number, a passport photo 2x2 inches in size, and current identification such as a driver's license or government identification. Passport photos are available for a fee of $10 at both locations.

Parents who are making a passport application for a child under the age of 16 are required to appear together or submit additional documentation.

Information about the specific documentation can be found on the County website or by calling the County Connection Passport Office at 732-303-2828.

French recommends that residents contact the Passport Office prior to appearing at the office to be sure that you have the proper documentation and payments.

The County Connection will host several informative programs for residents during the month of September, covering a variety of topics including financial planning for college, social security and energy assistance.

Learn how to beat the high cost of college and how to navigate the financial maze on Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Learn where to get money, how to apply for financial aid, the difference between tax credits and tax deduction, and how to qualify for aid based on your income. Brookdale Community College will be on hand to provide information on programs, aid and how to get started in earning a college degree.

On Tuesday, Sept. 23 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Monmouth County Office on Aging will sponsor “Social Security Explained.” Get the facts from the Society of Financial Awareness on how to make the right decision about your social security benefits. Learn about the factors that will affect your social security, how much money you will receive, how to determine the right time to take social security and how to get the most out of your benefits.

Whether you are on a limited income or faced with unanticipated hardship due to a disaster like Superstorm Sandy, energy assistance is out there. Meet with energy assistance specialists from New Jersey Natural Gas on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and learn about the assistance that is available to you and how to qualify.

The County Connection also offers the following recurring programs every month:

  • Meet with a Medicare Counselor every Wednesday by appointment.
  • Meet with a Monmouth County Surrogate representative on first and third Thursdays by appointment.
  • Meet with Monmouth County Veteran Services Office on second and fourth Thursdays by appointment.

All programs are free and open to all Monmouth County residents, but registration is required. To register, please call 732-303-2828.

The Monmouth County Connection is located in the strip mall at 3544 State Highway 66 in Neptune, adjacent to the Home Depot and across the street from Walmart. The office offers a variety of services including passport processing, passport photos, free notary public, veterans’ IDs, election/voter information, senior and veterans’ services, public access computers and more.

The office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The County Connection is under the direction of County Clerk M. Claire French and is supported by the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

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