Passports in Michigan
If you’re a Michigan citizen, you need a passport to travel abroad. That means completing the application process, which can take several weeks. But what if you have an expired or damaged passport? You can order a passport replacement easily through the mail or in person.
Having an up-to-date passport enables you to travel to nearly 200 countries. Even if you don’t have travel plans, a US passport serves as proof of citizenship and additional identification. The sections below detail types of passports available, where to get them, how to renew or replace one and how to expedite your passport application.
Where to Get a Passport in Michigan
To submit your application for a first-time US passport, visit a passport acceptance facility. Passport acceptance facilities are most commonly found in United States Postal Service offices. However, you can also find passport application services in other government offices.
For example, your local county clerk, city hall, circuit court clerk or recorder of deeds office may be a passport acceptance facility. You can find a complete list of US passport facility locations near your Michigan residence on the United States Department of State (DOS) website. There are over 300 passport acceptance facilities throughout the state. Some facilities may operate by appointment only.
Additionally, if you require an expedited passport you can visit a passport agency. Passport agencies are located throughout the country, typically one to a state. Michigan’s passport agency is located in Detroit.
Passport agencies accept and process all applications submitted to passport acceptance facilities. You can apply directly to the agency if you need one, but you must meet certain qualifications in order to submit a passport application at an agency. To apply at a passport agency, you must call ahead to make an appointment no earlier than three weeks before travel plans.
Michigan Passport Books vs. Cards
Passport applicants may be confused when they begin to fill out a passport application and see the option for a book or card. What is a passport book, and what is a passport card? Why are there two options? In fact, a passport book and a card have different functions, and having both may be beneficial.
The passport book is the standard book you think of when you picture passports. It usually has a blue cover, with gold lettering identifying it as an American passport. Inside, there is a page with identifying information, and several more pages for visa stamps.
This document gives you access to all 176 countries that accept a US passport. Passport books have no restrictions on them. You can use them as proof of citizenship and proof of identification when you travel.
A passport card can also serve as proof of citizenship and identification. Additionally, it is more portable and therefore a more convenient method of identification to carry than a passport. It is considered the unofficial national ID card of the United States, as there is no official form of national ID.
Passport cards meet standards set by the REAL ID Act of 2005, and can therefore be used for ID on domestic air flights. However, a card has more travel restrictions than a book. It cannot be used for international air travel.
A card can only be used to enter Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean by land or sea, unlike a book. However, a passport card costs less than a passport book. It is possible to request both at once on a passport application, and applicants can also order a passport card when renewing a passport book.
How to Get a Passport in Michigan
This section describes how to obtain a passport. To receive a US passport, you must be a citizen of the United States. Additionally, you must be able to provide the necessary documents.
There are no age requirements for a passport. Any citizen of any age can hold a US passport, and all are required to have one for international travel. However, passports issued for citizens under 16 years of age are only valid for five years and cannot be renewed.
If you are seeking a new passport, you must gather the following documents:
- Application for a US Passport – Read the instructions carefully before filling out the form.
- Proof of Citizenship – This can be a birth certificate, an expired passport, a certificate of naturalization or a certificate of citizenship.
- Photocopy of citizenship proof – If you are supplying a birth certificate and do not want to photocopy it, you can instead supply a second certified copy of your certificate. The second certificate will not be returned, but the first will.
- Photo identification – Valid forms of ID including driver’s licenses or permits, certificates of naturalization, military IDs or an expired passport.
- Photocopy of ID – For both photocopies, you must copy both the front and back of your documents.
- Passport photo – Your photo must meet strict requirements about size, background, clothing and facial expression.
- Proof of relationship – This is only required for parents applying for passports for their children. Acceptable evidence includes green cards, birth certificates and adoption decrees.
Full details about acceptable documents and photo requirements can be found on the DOS website. Along with your documents, you must also be prepared to pay US passport fees.
There are two fees, each paid separately: the application fee and the execution fee. Fees are less costly for children’s passports than adult passports.
Bring your passport application and payment to a Michigan passport acceptance facility. Make a passport appointment beforehand if necessary.
U.S. Passport Renewals in Michigan
You should renew your US passport at least six months before it expires. Passports near expiration may not be accepted by various countries. This is out of concern that you may stay beyond the passport’s expiration date.
You can also renew an expired passport as long as it was issued within the last 15 years. Passport renewal is done by mail, rather than in person. To be eligible for passport renewal, all the following must be true:
- Your most recently issued passport is in your possession
- Your passport is relatively undamaged
- Your passport is an adult passport
- Your passport is no more than 15 years old
- Your passport has your current name OR you can provide documents for your change of name
If you meet all the eligibility requirements, you can renew your passport by mail. To renew your passport, gather the necessary documents and place them in an envelope. Mail your MI passport application to the address listed on the renewal application form.
You will need the following documents:
- US Passport Renewal Application
- Your last passport
- Name change documents, if relevant
- Passport photo
You will also have to pay fees, although they will be less than applying for a new one. When you are getting a new passport, you have to pay two fees.
However, you only have to pay an application fee to renew your US passport. There is no execution fee. When you are renewing your passport, you can choose to order a book, a card or both.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in Michigan
If your passport is lost or stolen, you should report it immediately to the DOS. Passports can be used to commit identity fraud. By reporting your passport as missing, the DOS can automatically cancel your passport so its biometric chip cannot be scanned.
If your passport is stolen, you can file a police report. However, you do not need a police report to document a stolen passport with the DOS. Additionally, you do not have to purchase a new passport to report a lost passport. If you do want to replace a lost passport, however, you must report it as missing.
You can easily report your passport is missing through the DOS website. You can fill out and submit the lost passport form online. You can also call the DOS to report your passport missing.
However, if you want to request a new passport, you must submit your application in person at a passport acceptance facility. To request a passport replacement, you need the following documents:
- Application for US Passport
- Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport Book/Card
- Proof of citizenship
- Photocopy of citizenship proof
- Proof of identification
- Photocopy of identification proof
- Passport photo
In addition, you will also have to pay the necessary US passport fees to complete your request. Bring your documents to a Michigan passport acceptance facility. Submit your passport application. Your passport replacement will arrive in the mail in four to six weeks.
If you have a damaged passport and need to replace it, the process is similar. However, instead of submitting a statement regarding a lost passport, you should submit a statement for a damaged one. Additionally, include your passport in your application.
How to Complete a Passport Update in Michigan
If the information in your passport is out of date or inaccurate, you can request a passport update. However, the procedure depends on what information you need to change and why.
For example, if you need to update your name within a year of obtaining a passport, you use the Application for a US Passport – Corrections form. However, if your name has changed and your passport was issued more than a year ago, you can renew your passport instead.
If your name changed and your US passport is less than a year old, you should fill out and submit the corrections form. In your application, include your most recent passport, any legal documents proving your change of name and include one passport photo.
Mail the documents to the address listed on the corrections form. You will receive your new passport in the mail within four to six weeks.
If your name changed and your US passport is more than a year old, you can renew your current passport. To renew your passport with a new name, complete the US Passport Renewal Application.
Include your old passport, your name change documents, a passport photo and relevant fees. Send your passport application through USPS to the address listed on the form. Your new passport will arrive in four to six weeks.
If your passport is more than a year old, your name changed and you already have new ID representing your change of name, the process is simple. Apply for a new passport using your new ID and new name. If you do not have new ID, you must complete the regular passport application process and include your court documents in your application.
Finally, if you’ve had a change of name but cannot provide court documents, you must use the Application for a US Passport. Supply regular documents, but include ID issued in your current name.
If your name is significantly different, you will also need to provide an Affidavit Regarding a Change of Name. Two people who know you must help you complete the form. You must pay normal passport fees.
For printing errors or incorrect data, complete the Application for a US Passport – Corrections form. Include your current passport and a color photo in your passport application. Specify what passport update you want by providing evidence of the error you are trying to correct.
Mail your packet in to the address on the form. No fees are required to correct errors.
Michigan Expedited Passport Service
The standard US passport processing time is four to six weeks. However, if you need your passport faster than that, there are options. You can expedite your application by paying an additional expedite fee.
If you are applying for a new passport, tell the acceptance facility that you are seeking an expedited passport application. If you are renewing your passport, mark the envelope with the word ‘expedite.’ You will receive your passport in three to four weeks.
If you have travel plans scheduled in less than three weeks and do not have your passport, you can expedite it faster at a passport agency. However, you can only schedule an appointment for a passport agency within three weeks of your plan. Michigan’s passport agency is in Detroit.
Call the passport agency to make an appointment to get your US passport expedited. Arrive early to your appointment time with all your necessary documents and fees, including the expedite fee. You will receive your passport within two weeks.
If you are facing a life-or-death emergency, you can get a passport in under 72 hours. However, the DOS must agree that your emergency is urgent. Life-or-death emergencies include a family member in a foreign country that is gravely ill, injured or dead.
In order to get a US passport expedited in under three days, you must make an appointment with the Detroit passport agency. Explain your situation and make an appointment for the soonest you can arrive in Detroit. Bring all documents required for your passport application, including evidence of the emergency.
This can be a note from a hospital, a certified mortuary statement or a certified death certificate, with a certified translation if necessary. You will need to stay in the Detroit area in order to pick up your passport as soon as it is ready.