Passports in Maine
To cross country borders, you must submit a ME passport application to obtain a U.S. passport. It is the most important document to verify your identity and U.S. citizenship overseas. Obtaining a passport is easy and can be done at your local public library or post office. You may be wondering whether you should get a passport card, passport book or both.
It is very important to note that they are not the same and that a card contains certain restrictions. If you are a Mainer applying for a passport for the first time, you will need to provide your local passport office with various documents.
Furthermore, you may apply for an expedited passport if you are in need of a passport for last minute travel plans. The process will also vary depending on whether you are renewing an expired passport, updating a current passport or replacing a lost or stolen passport. Read the following sections below to gather all of the appropriate documentation for the passport service you need to complete.
Where to Get a Passport in Maine
Many residents are under the impression that they need to visit a federal institution to submit their passport application in Maine. However, there are approximately 70 federally managed offices throughout the state that offer passport services. Some acceptance facilities include public libraries, post offices and county clerk offices.
Residents must call their nearest acceptance facility to inquire about walk-in hours, appointments and accepted methods of payment. For urgent circumstances requiring residents to travel within two to three weeks, residents must make an appointment at their nearest regional passport agency to obtain a passport card. While there are none located in Maine, you can travel to the nearest agency located in Portsmouth, NH and St. Albans, VT.
Maine Passport Books vs. Cards
What is a passport book? A passport book is a standard form of a U.S. passport that has been around for a long time. It is used to identify U.S. citizens and keep them safe when traveling abroad.
Much more recently, the passport card has been issued to residents looking to travel to selected countries. A passport book can be used to travel by land, air and sea to countries all around the world. However, a passport card can only be used to exit and re-enter the country by land or sea between the following countries:
- United States
Both travel documents can be used for domestic air travel and for identifying purposes, such as getting a new driver’s license. However, a passport card cost is much cheaper and affordable for those who do not plan on traveling outside the cards’ limitations.
How to Get a Passport in Maine
Getting a new passport in Maine is an easy and fairly quick task, as long as you come prepared with the proper documentation. If you are a minor or are applying for the first time, you must visit an acceptance facility in person. While all applicants are required to bring the essentials, special circumstances require that certain individuals bring additional documentation.
For example, you must provide proof of parental awareness if you are a minor 16 to 17 years of age. If you are applying for a child less than 16 years of age, you will need to show parental relationship and evidence of consent if one parent cannot appear. The basic documents needed to apply for a passport card and/or book are the following:
- Passport application
- Color passport photo
- Proof of identity along with a photocopy
- Evidence of U.S. citizenship and a photocopy
- Payment for US passport fees
The passport card cost varies depending on whether you are a minor or adult. Furthermore, it will cost more to get expedited service rather than routine service. These are factors you will need to take into account before purchasing your U.S. passport.
U.S. Passport Renewals in Maine
If your passport card is in good condition, you may be eligible to renew it by mail. It must have been issued to you within the past 15 years when you were 16 years of age or older. Otherwise, you will have to apply for a brand new passport in person.
To renew your US passport, you must mail your previous passport, a color passport photo and the appropriate fees with a completed passport renewal form. Because passport facilities and agencies do not accept cash through mail, you will need to submit your payment through a money order or check payable to the U.S. Department of State.
When mailing your application, you must use USPS and a trackable delivery method. This way you can track a lost passport in the mail.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in Maine
Replacing a lost or stolen passport requires a few additional steps compared to replacing a damaged passport. If your passport pages are torn or damaged by water, you must apply for a new passport by submitting your current passport by mail with a signed letter describing its condition.
Before replacing a passport that was lost or stolen, you must file a report with the Bureau of Consular Affairs by submitting a lost passport form. Once the passport has been voided, you can apply for a passport replacement as soon as possible. To replace your lost passport, you will need to visit your local acceptance facility with the following documentation:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Color passport photo
- US passport fees
How to Complete a Passport Update in Maine
A passport card should always reflect a resident’s accurate identity, including his or her name and gender. If any of these details change, due to a marriage or gender transition, a resident must obtain a passport update. Furthermore, a resident must update their passport with the correct information if it was mailed to him or her with a data or printing error. To correct a passport mistake, residents must submit a correction form by mail with a new passport photo, their current passport and evidence of error.
Furthermore, residents may obtain a U.S. passport that is valid up to 10 years or two years depending on whether they have completed their clinical treatment for a sex transition. If a resident is still in the process, he or she may apply for a limited-validity passport card. Residents must visit their nearest acceptance facility in person to provide the following documentation.
- A passport photo resembling their current appearance
- A photo ID resembling their current appearance
- Legal proof of name change, if applicable
- A signed medical certification provided by their physician
If you are looking to change your name on your passport, you must apply for an updated passport. The method in which you apply will be dependent on when you obtained your passport.
If it was issued less than a year ago, you will need to submit a correction form via mail with a certified name change document, color passport photo and your recent passport card. If it has been more than a year, you may be able to submit your request by mail or in person depending on your eligibility. Additionally, you will need to submit an application for renewal instead.
Maine Expedited Passport Service
There are many services available to residents who would like to receive their passport card within a certain time frame. While some residents apply for their passports way ahead of their travel plans, others do not and must request an expedited passport. If you are obtaining a passport, you may request the following services.
- More than four to six weeks: For routine service, you may apply for a passport at your local acceptance facility or renew your US passport by mail.
- Less than four to six weeks: You may expedite your passport at an acceptance facility or when renewing your passport by mail. Simply write out “EXPEDITE” on the envelope of your renewal application.
- Less than two to three weeks: To apply for this expedited service, you must visit your nearest regional passport agency. Make sure to bring proof of urgent travel.
- Within 72 hours: In this case, you must be in a life-or-death emergency. Call the U.S. Department of State to obtain emergency passport service.