How to Obtain a Passport in Minnesota

By J. Johnson
A passport, the country

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A passport is an alternate form of identification. It's also necessary if you want to travel outside the United States. If plan to travel from Minnesota to another country, apply for your passport as soon as possible. Once you receive your passport, you can focus on the more enjoyable aspects of planning the trip, such as finding interesting places to visit and scheduling fun activities.

Determine if you need to apply for a passport in person or if you can apply online. You need to apply in person if you have never applied for a passport before, if you're under the age of 16, or if you received your last passport while under the age of 16. You also need to apply in person if your passport has been lost, stolen, or damaged or if you received your last passport more than 15 years ago. If you have changed your name since receiving your last passport, you'll need to have legal documentation of the name change. Otherwise, you'll need to apply in person.

Find a passport acceptance facility in Minnesota if you need to apply in person. This is where you will submit your application and supporting materials. Some common passport facilities include public libraries, post offices and government offices. Visit the "Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page" of the U.S. Department of State's website, located in the resource section, to find the nearest location to apply for a passport. Enter Minnesota as your state, and the city you live in. You can also enter your ZIP code.

Download and complete a Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport, located in the resource section below. Complete the form online if you don't need to apply for a passport in person. Otherwise, print and fill out a blank form. You will need to provide contact information, date of birth, social security number and the names and dates of birth of your parents and any spouses.

Gather the information you need to submit with your passport application if applying in person. This includes proof of U.S. citizenship. Acceptable documents proving citizenship include a previous, undamaged passport, certified birth certificate, Naturalization Certificate or your Certificate of Citizenship. You must also provide identification. Acceptable forms of identification include your previous passport if it's not damaged, a Naturalization Certificate, a valid driver's license or current government or military identification card.

Copy your supporting documents to submit with your application. These copies should be made on a blank sheet of standard, 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper.

Pay the non-refundable passport application fee. You will need to pay a fee whether you apply online or in person. See the U.S. Department of State's "Passport Fees" page, located in the resource section, to determine the fee for your particular situation. Most agencies accept personal checks, credit cards and money orders. Acceptable methods of payment for the various facilities are listed on the "Passport Fees" page.

Provide two passport photos with your application. These photos must be exactly the same, in color and 2-by-2 inches in size. The photo needs to have been taken within the last six months, and it must reflect your current hair color, eye color and other distinguishing features. It show your full face, from just below your chin to the top of your head, and the background should be white or off-white. Wear your eyeglasses, hearing aid or anything else that's worn daily. Do not wear a uniform or tinted glasses.

About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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