Passports in Wisconsin
If you are planning on traveling outside of the country any time soon, you will need to submit a Wisconsin passport application to the Department of State. A passport book is the only way U.S. citizens can legally enter and exit overseas countries or even board a plane in the U.S. to fly overseas. However, individuals who do not plan on flying overseas have another option to travel the North American region. They may apply for a passport card instead.
Passports are essential documents for every U.S. citizen to own. They are REAL ID complaint forms of identification that can serve not only as IDs in the U.S. but give you the opportunity to be a citizen of the world. To obtain a passport book or card, all you need to do is go to your local passport facility to fill out an application and begin the process. The guide below will teach you more about the passport application process.
Where to Get a Passport in Wisconsin
Passport applications in Wisconsin can be found online or at a passport facility. Passport offices and passport agencies are the two types of US passport locations that are federally approved to handle passport-related matters.
Passport offices are local passport facilities that can accept applications, offer passport photo services and offer assistance with passport-related questions. These services are offered by county clerks’ offices, post offices, municipal buildings and some authorized private businesses. They are ideal locations to learn information on where to get a passport in Wisconsin and address unique passport needs. Passport offices offer both an appointment option and walk-in hours. However, each location might have different hours of operation so it is important to verify them.
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) is both a passport accepting and processing facility. It administers passports and handles special circumstances. The DOS is considered a passport agency. They are located regionally. Because there is not a location in Wisconsin, residents must travel to either Michigan or Illinois to visit one. Luckily, agencies are reserved for special cases like an emergency expedited passport or in-person passports changes. These locations only take appointments and applicants must be eligible to make that appointment.
Wisconsin Passport Books vs. Cards
When individuals apply for a passport, they choose between passports books vs. cards. For those with the question “what is a passport book,” it is a small, pocket-sized booklet that contains your personal information, unique passport number and extra pages for visas and stamps. A passport card on the other hand is wallet-sized and looks just like a driver’s license or state ID card. The passport card cost is a less than it is for a passport book.
Passport books permit both domestic and overseas travel through air, land and sea ports. Cards on the other hand only allow for domestic flights across the U.S. and access to Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean through land sea ports.
How to Get a Passport in Wisconsin
Getting a passport in Wisconsin is simple. Residents seeking to travel internationally should first visit a passport office to learn how to get a passport in Wisconsin. There they will be instructed to fill out the passport application and collect the necessary documents. These documents include:
- A long form birth certificate or Citizenship Certificate for proof of U.S. citizenship
- A student, military, government or state photo ID for proof of identification
- A Social Security Number
- An approved 2×2 inch color
- A form of payment
First-time applicants can only apply in person. The sections below, however, discuss instances when you can obtain a passport through the mail.
Passports for minors are also available but have special requirements. Since every U.S. citizen who wants to fly internationally is mandated to carry a passport, guardians of minors must submit passport application and documents for their dependents. However, all minors must have at least one parent or guardian present when turning in their passport application. Those younger than 16 years of age must have both parents present. Otherwise, a parent must attach a signed and notarized consent form along with his or her picture ID to the child’s application. Guardians are required to attach a court order approving their relationship to the child.
U.S. Passport Renewals in Wisconsin
All passport holders are eligible to renew a US passport as long as it is undamaged. Adult passports expire in 10 years while minors’ passports expire in five. Renewals are encouraged to be mailed in to the DOS. Applicants must send in their passport renewal application, current passport, new color photo and payment in the form of a check or money order. They can also choose to receive an expedited passport when filling the application.
Many passport holders ask “how much does it cost to renew your passport?” US passport renewals are cheaper than first-time passports. This is because renewed passports do not have to undergo processing, applicants are only paying for the application.
How to Replace a Lost Passport in Wisconsin
Knowing how to replace a lost passport is important just in case you ever lose your own. Passports are small and can become easily lost or stolen. The first thing to do when you realize you no longer have your passport is to fill out a lost passport form. This document notifies the DOS that your current passport is invalid and cannot be used anymore, thus protecting your identity. Then, to replace a lost passport, you will have to submit an application for a brand new one. The same must be done with a stolen passport.
A damaged passport also calls for replacement. To acquire a passport replacement for passports that are torn, water damaged or otherwise illegible you must submit your current passport with a new passport application and letter describing the damage to a passport office or agency.
How to Complete a Passport Update in Wisconsin
A passport update in Wisconsin might be necessary for applicants who have undergone a name or sex change or who have received a passport with data errors. Usually, passport updates do not incur extra fees.
Data errors like misspelled names and cities, incorrect numbers for birthdays, discoloration or crooked printing can be corrected at a passport agency for no cost. Applicants can also mail in their passport card or book along with a passport correction form and documentation to support the information change to a passport agency.
Those seeking a name change can follow the same procedure as above but must also send in payment for fees if they are making the change at least one year after they received their passport. Individuals undergoing a sex change transition may update a limited-validity passport to a full-validity passport book or card with no charge. This is as long as they request the passport update within the two years of their limited-validity passport. He or she must also submit appropriate medical documentation and an ID that matches his or her new appearance.
Wisconsin Expedited Passport Service
An expedited passport in Wisconsin is available to most passport applicants. It is applicable whether they are getting a new passport, seeking renewal or updating their name. A regular expedition service allows for applicants to receive their passports in less than four to six weeks and incurs an extra cost in addition to regular US passport fees. Those who need a passport in less than two to three weeks or immediately must make an appointment at a passport agency.