Silvia Saldarriaga almost couldn't get back to the United States from Colombia in January.
The 20-year-old recreational traveler, who likes to visit her native country and explore other cultures around the world, had her passport expire just three weeks after she left the states, and coming back was a hassle, she said.
"My passport expired a week before my flight back," she said.
One of the first things on her list when she got back was to get a new passport — and her place of choice was Huntington Beach City Hall, where the city clerk's office also operates as a passport-accepting facility for residents and the surrounding communities.
The city provides the service just like a post office or a federal building would, but some of the money stays with Huntington Beach. The city gets about $100,000 in revenue each year, money that goes to the general fund.
The service at the city clerk's office began in February 2000 as a way to generate revenue. But the city clerk's office quickly earned a reputation that is different from the routine drill of standing in long lines and waiting for long hours.