You must submit your passport application and receive a US passport before you attempt to travel abroad. You need a passport to enter foreign countries.

A passport serves both as proof of your American citizenship and proof of your identity. It shows that you have the rights granted to all American citizens abroad, and provides a history of your travel.

Getting a US passport is a relatively easy process. However, it can take several weeks to obtain one. Therefore, you should submit your passport application well in advance of travel plans.

It’s generally a good idea to get a passport even if you don’t have impending travel plans. You can use your passport as an additional form of ID for everything from job applications to driver’s license applications.

Additionally, your US passport can serve as ID for domestic flights. The sections below describe how to get a passport, what kind are available, how to renew or update one and how to expedite your application.

Where to Get a Passport in Minnesota

To complete the regular passport application process, you will need to locate a passport acceptance facility. These facilities are typically based in government buildings and offices. A United States Postal Office is the most common choice for submitting your application.

However, your local county clerk, library, circuit court clerk or recorder of deeds may also be a passport acceptance facility. There are 131 US passport facility locations throughout the state of Minnesota. You can find the facility closest to you by checking the US Department of State (DOS) website.

Some passport acceptance facilities may require an appointment for you to submit your passport application. Before visiting a facility, check to see if an appointment is required.

Additionally, you can apply directly to a passport agency instead. Minnesota’s passport agency is located in Minneapolis. If you need to get your US passport expedited, you can submit your application directly to the agency.

However, you must meet certain requirements to make an appointment. The agency will only allow you to make an appointment if you have immediate travel plans.

If you do not need a passport in less than three weeks, you cannot submit your passport application directly to the Minneapolis passport agency. You must use a passport acceptance facility instead.

Minnesota Passport Books vs. Cards

When you apply for a passport, you may be confused by the form. What is a passport book? What is a passport card? What’s the difference, and which one is right for you?

There are distinct differences between the two, and it is important to understand what you are ordering. A passport card costs less than a passport book, but it also has much more restrictions on its use. Do not order the cheaper option simply because it’s there.

A passport book is the standard passport you may think of. The US passport book has a blue cover with gold lettering. Inside, the first page contains vital information about you, such as your birth place, age, legal sex and full name.

The rest of the book contains pages for visa stamps you acquire as you travel. The book allows you to travel to the 176 countries around the world that accept a US passport. Additionally, you can use the passport as a form of identification whenever you may need one, including for boarding domestic flights.

On the other hand, a US passport card has a different purpose. The card can essentially serve as an unofficial form of national ID, declaring you a US citizen. You can use a passport card as a form of ID for boarding flights, or when applying for legal documents.

Unlike the book, a card cannot be used for international air travel. A passport card only gives you access to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean through land and sea ports. Therefore, a card will not help you travel to Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia. You can select both or only one on your passport application as needed.

To get a passport, you must be a US citizen. Additionally, you must be able to provide all the necessary documents and pay passport fees. If you’re interested in getting a new passport, just one of the following must be true:

  • You’ve never had a passport before
  • You are under 16 years of age
  • Your last passport was issued when you were under 16 years of age
  • Your last passport was stolen, lost or damaged
  • Your last passport is more than 15 years old

If any of the above are true, you can apply for a new US passport. You must apply in person at a passport acceptance facility. You need the following documents to apply for a new passport:

  • Application for a US Passport
  • Evidence of US citizenship
  • Photocopy of citizenship evidence
  • Evidence of identity, such as a driver’s license
  • Photocopy of identity evidence
  • Passport photo

Citizenship evidence can include a birth certificate, a certificate of naturalization, a certificate of citizenship and more. You can also find a complete list of acceptable documents on the DOS website.

You can also find a full list of acceptable ID, which includes driver’s license, military IDs or an expired or foreign passport. You must also pay the necessary US passport fees – the application fee and the execution fee.

If you are applying for a US passport for a child, you will also have to supply evidence of relationship. In other words, you must prove that you are related to a child if you submit an application on their behalf.

This can be in the form of a birth certificate listing you as a parent, an adoption form or divorce decree or more. You can find a complete list of acceptable documents in the DOS website. Children’s passports cost less than adult passports.

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, bring them to a passport acceptance facility. You may have to make an appointment first. Pay the necessary fees and submit your application to an agent.

You will have to complete the passport application process with the agent. After you submit your documents, wait to receive your new US passport in the mail. It should take four to six weeks to receive yours.

U.S. Passport Renewals in Minnesota

An adult passport lasts 10 years from the issue date. You should renew your US passport several months before it expires, particularly if you have upcoming travel plans. Many countries will refuse to accept passports that are six months from expiration.

You can also renew your passport if it has already expired. However, not everyone is eligible to renew the passport. To renew your US passport, you must meet all the following eligibility requirements:

  • You have your old passport
  • Your old passport is undamaged
  • Your passport was issued when you were 16 years of age or older
  • Your passport was issued in the past 15 years
  • Your passport has your current name, or you can prove a name change with legal documents

If you are eligible to renew your US passport, you can complete the passport application process by mail. You do not have to visit a passport acceptance facility in person.

Additionally, you do not need to provide all the same documents to renew a passport as you did when you applied for a new one. You will need to provide the following documents:

  • US Passport Renewal Application
  • Your most recent US passport
  • Name change documents, if applicable
  • Passport photo

Additionally, you will have to pay a passport fee. However, you will only have to pay the application fee, not the execution fee. You can also choose if you want a passport book, card or both when you renew your US passport. Address your passport application to the location on your application form. Wait four to six weeks to receive your new passport in the mail. Once you receive it, you are prepared to travel internationally.

How to Replace a Lost Passport in Minnesota

Because your passport contains sensitive information about you, it’s important to keep track of it. If someone else acquires your passport, he or she can use it for identity theft. Should you notice that your passport is lost or stolen, you should report it immediately to the DOS.

You can fill out and submit the Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport online. You do not have to order a new passport to report your current passport as missing. However, if you do want to replace your lost passport, you must report that it is missing.

To order a passport replacement after your passport goes missing, you must complete the new passport application process. Complete the Application for a US Passport and obtain all the necessary documents.

Additionally, print out and fill out the lost passport form. Bring them to a passport acceptance facility and pay any necessary fees to order your new passport. If you are replacing a stolen passport, you do not have to supply a police report.

If you have a damaged passport that is no longer acceptable for travel, you should also take steps to replace it. Do not throw a damaged passport away. Even if it is damaged, the information in it can still be used to commit identity theft.

Instead, you should complete the process for a new passport. Along with your regular documents, include a signed statement describing the damage. Submit your new passport application to a passport acceptance facility and wait to receive your new documents in the mail.

How to Complete a Passport Update in Minnesota

If your US passport information is out of date or incorrect, you should take steps to rectify it. For example, if you legally change your name, you must update the name on your US passport. However, the process to do so varies depending on many factors.

If your name has changed and your last US passport was issued less than a year ago, you do not have to apply for a new passport. Instead, submit the Application for a US Passport – Correction document.

Fill it out and gather your old passport, a legal document proving your change of name and a passport photo. Mail all the documents to the address listed on the corrections form. You will not have to pay any passport fees, but you must send it through USPS.

If your last passport was issued more than a year ago and your name has changed, you may be able to renew your passport with your new name. However, you can only do this if you meet all the qualifications to renew your passport. If you do, you must complete the regular US passport renewal application.

Include legal documents proving your name change in your application. You must pay regular passport fees. Mail your renewed passport application to the address on the form.

If you do not meet the requirements for renewing your US passport, you must apply for a new passport. If you already have ID reflecting your change of name, you can complete the regular application process with your new name. You do not need to perform any special actions.

However, if you do not have new ID, your passport is more than a year old and you cannot renew it, the process differs. Instead, you must apply for a new passport and submit your change of name documents with your passport application. Visit a passport acceptance facility to complete the application process and pay the necessary US passport fees.

If you are using a new name but do not have legal documents to prove it, you can complete the regular passport application process. However, you will need to provide the Affidavit Regarding a Change of Name if your new name differs significantly from your old name. Additionally, you will need two people who know you to help you fill out the affidavit.

Errors on your US passport should be corrected as soon as you notice them. This can include errors in your identifying information or printing errors. To correct an error, fill out the corrections form.

Submit it by mail to the address on the form, along with your passport and a passport photo. Include evidence of the error. For example, if your name was misprinted, include a birth certificate or photocopy of your ID. There are no fees required to correct an error on your US passport.

Minnesota Expedited Passport Service

In some cases, you may need your US passport expedited. There are three options to have your passport expedited by the DOS. The first option is to submit your application as normal, but note that you want to have it expedited.

You must pay an additional expedite fee. If you want your renewal application expedited, mark the envelope with the word ‘expedite’ and include the fee in your check or money order. By expediting your request, you will receive your US passport in three to four weeks instead of four to six weeks.

However, if you need your US passport in less than three weeks, there is a faster option. You can set up a passport appointment directly with the Minneapolis passport agency instead of an acceptance facility. However, the agency will only allow you to make an appointment if you have travel plans less than three weeks out.

Bring all required documents to the appointment, including the expedite fee and application fee.  Submit your documents for an expedited passport. You should receive your new passport in less than two weeks.

Note: You do not have to pay the execution fee at the agency.

Finally, you can get a passport in less than 72 hours, but only for life-or-death emergencies. The DOS defines life-or-death emergencies as situations when a family member is gravely ill, injured or dead. In order to get an expedited passport in less than 72 hours, you must call the DOS and explain your situation.

Set up an appointment with the Minneapolis passport agency as soon as you can. Bring all necessary passport documents, including evidence of emergency. This can be in the form of a hospital note, a mortuary certificate or a certificate of death.

If the evidence is in a foreign language, you must also supply a certified translation. Arrive at your appointment with your passport application, documents and fees. After submitting your paperwork, wait in the Minneapolis area until your US passport is complete.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.