Passports in Montana
Remember to submit your passport application before you make international travel plans. You must have a current US passport to travel abroad. A passport grants you access to more than 170 countries around the world. However, an expired or inaccurate passport will not. Even if you have held a passport in the past, it’s important to make sure your passport is still accurate and valid.
Any US citizen can hold a passport. There are no restrictions on age. That means that all citizens, including infants, must have a US passport for international travel. However, passports for children are not eligible for renewal, while adult passports are. Additionally, there is more than one kind of passport. Applicants should familiarize themselves with the options before submitting a passport application. The sections below describe how to get, update, renew, replace and expedite a passport.
Where to Get a Passport in Montana
For regular passport applications, you should locate your closest passport acceptance facility. A passport acceptance facility helps you complete the passport application process, then processes and mails your application. Facilities are typically, but not always, found in United States Postal Offices. However, any government building can serve as a US passport acceptance location. There are 73 facilities located throughout the state of Montana. Some facilities require you to make an appointment beforehand.
If you need an expedited passport, you may be eligible to submit your passport application directly to a passport agency. Passport agencies are regional locations that handle passport claims. The agency closest to Montana residents is the Seattle Passport Agency in Washington state. You must make an appointment to submit a passport application to an agency.
Montana Passport Books vs. Cards
When applying for a passport, you will be asked to select a passport book, card or both. What is a passport book? A passport book is the standard document you may picture when you think of a passport. It is a small little booklet with a blue cover, a page of identifying information and several pages for visa stamps. This passport grants you entry to any country that accepts a US passport. It can also be used as a form of identification for legal purposes.
What is a passport card? The card was created to aid Americans who live along the northern and southern borders and travel through them frequently. It allows holders to travel to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean by land or sea. However, it does not allow for international air travel. A passport card is a more convenient form of identification than a book, because it is more portable. Additionally, a passport card costs less than a book. You can request both a book and a card when you apply for a passport.
How to Get a Passport in Montana
If you’re planning on getting a new passport, you should begin by acquiring all the necessary documents. To apply for a new passport, you must provide evidence of citizenship, additional ID documents and a passport photo that meets particular specifications. You will need the following documents for your passport application:
- Application for US Passport, filled out but unsigned
- Evidence of US Citizenship
- Photocopy of citizenship evidence, with front and back copied
- Evidence of identification, such as a valid driver’s license
- Photocopy of ID evidence, with front and back copied
- Passport photo, meeting DOS specifications
Additionally, you must pay the US passport fees – an execution fee and an application fee, paid separately. If you are applying on behalf of a child, you must provide additional documentation. For children under 16 years of age, you should provide evidence of parental relationship. For children 16 to 17 years of age, you only need to prove parental awareness. Parental awareness can include a signed statement or a parent accompanying a child to submit the passport application. Gather all your documents and bring them to a passport acceptance facility. Make an appointment beforehand, if necessary. Complete the passport application with an agent, sign it and submit your request. You will receive your new passport in four to six weeks.
U.S. Passport Renewals in Montana
If your adult passport is expired or close to expired, you should take steps to renew it. You can easily renew your application through the mail, saving you a trip to an acceptance facility. How much does it cost to renew your passport? You only have to pay an acceptance fee, not an execution fee, to renew your passport. Therefore, it will cost less than applying for a new one. However, not everyone is eligible to renew a US passport.
You can only renew your US passport if you have in your possession an adult passport issued less than 15 years ago. Additionally, your MT US passport cannot be damaged except for regular wear and tear. If your name has changed, you must provide legal documents proving the change of name. If you cannot provide legal documents proving the name change, you must apply for a new passport instead.
If you are eligible for renewal, complete the US Passport Renewal Form. Include legal documents for name changes if applicable, a passport photo and your old passport in your passport application. Address the envelope to the address specified on the form, and include a check or money order made out to the DOS. Write your name and date of birth on the check. Send your application by USPS, and wait to receive your renewed passport in four to six weeks.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in Montana
If your passport is lost or stolen, you should report it as missing as soon as possible. When you fill out and submit the lost passport form, the DOS automatically cancels that passport. As a result, others cannot use the passport to commit identity fraud. You do not have to order a new passport in order to report yours as missing. However, if you do want to replace a lost passport, you will have to report it first.
To replace a lost or stolen passport, you must apply for a new passport in person at an acceptance facility. Submit the regular application for a new passport, including all the necessary documents. In your passport application, include a filled out copy of the Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport. Turn it in to the passport agent and wait for your new passport in the mail.
If you need to replace a damaged passport, remember to turn it in to the DOS. Do not throw it away in the trash, as they can also be used to commit identity fraud. Instead, apply for a new passport at a passport acceptance facility. Make sure to include the old passport in your application and a signed statement describing the damage. You will receive your passport replacement in four to six weeks.
How to Complete a Passport Update in Montana
If your passport is out of date or has an error, you should request a passport update as soon as possible. For example, if you marry or divorce and change your name as a result, your passport should reflect your change of name. Depending on the change you need to make and who made the error, you may or may not need to pay regular passport fees.
- Change of name (recent) – If your name changed within a year of your passport’s issue date, you can request a correction. Complete the Application for a US Passport – Name Change and Corrections form. Gather together the form, your old passport, evidence of your name change and a passport photo. Mail them via USPS to the address listed on the form. You do not have to pay US passport fees.
- Change of name (not recent) – If your name changed more than a year after receiving your passport, you can renew your passport instead with the change of name. Complete the renewal form, and gather your passport, name change documents, and a passport photo. Mail the application via USPS to the address on the form. Include all applicable US passport fees.
- Data or printing error – If there is a data or printing error on your passport, complete the corrections form. Include evidence of the error, one color photo and your old passport. Mail the packet to the address on the form. You do not have to pay fees.
- Gender marker change – To change your gender marker, you must provide a statement from your physician stating you are receiving the appropriate clinical treatment for transitioning. You will receive a limited validity passport during your transition and a regular passport when you complete your transition. For complete details, check the DOS website.
Montana Expedited Passport Service
If you need your US passport expedited, you can shorten the waiting period for an additional expedite fee. Mark on your application that you wish to expedite the process, and include the fee in your payment. You will receive your passport within three to four weeks rather than four to six weeks.
If you are traveling in less than three weeks and do not have a US passport, you can make an appointment with a passport agency. However, you cannot make the appointment prior to the three-week mark. After making an appointment with the Seattle passport agency, gather all necessary documents for your passport application. Include the expedite fee and application fee, but not an execution fee. Bring the documents to the agent at the time of your appointment. You will receive your passport in less than two weeks.
In rare cases, you can receive a passport in under 72 hours. The DOS will fast-track applications for life-or-death emergencies. The DOS defines such emergencies as times when a family member is gravely ill, injured or dead. You must contact the DOS and explain your circumstances. Gather all documents for the passport application, including evidence of the emergency. You will receive your expedited passport as soon as possible.