Minnesota residents planning to travel internationally by plane or boat are required to have a valid U.S. passport. In the past, applying for a U.S. passport usually meant more than a few hassles. However, the process is now much more streamlined and convenient today. Your local post office may offer passport application and processing services, too. This winter is an opportune time to finally obtain your passport and be free to travel overseas. Will it be a tropical Caribbean paradise or an exciting African safari?
According to the U.S. Department of State, all U.S. travelers leaving and reentering the country by air are required to present a passport book. Children under the age of 16 may present an original or copy of a birth certificate for travel; however, they may also obtain a U.S. passport.
The applications for passports are available both online and in person. For a new passport, complete Form DS-11, carefully follow the instructions and submit your application in person to an approved acceptance facility or Passport Agency. Expired passports for adults may be renewed by submitting Form DS-82 through an acceptance facility or the mail, but minors must apply in person.
Passport Photos and Documentation
The Department of State is very strict about the documentation required to process your passport application. Follow the guidelines in the application, gather the appropriate forms of identification and submit two identical passport photos.
Local Post Offices for Processing
There are many acceptance facilities in Minnesota. Your local post office may provide this service, allowing you to submit your application materials and fee in person. The post office sends the applications to the U.S. Department of State, which later issues passports and mails them to applicants.
Fees for New and Renewal Passports
The application fee for adults as of 2009 is $75, plus a $25 execution fee. For minors under 16 applying for a new or renewal passport, the application fee is $60 and the execution fee is $25.
Article Written By Cheryl Waters Likins
Cheryl Waters Likins is a writer, educator, and pianist. Likins obtained her master's degree from Seton Hall University and Bachelor of Science degree from Upsala College. She completed doctoral-level studies in biomedicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She has been a freelance writer since 2007. Likins' work appears online at Tesi.com (Italy), GolfLink, Answerbag, Trails, eHow, and Associated Content.