Heading outside the country soon but not very good at, say, planning?
Never fear, dear traveling procrastinator. Seven Minnesota passport agencies on Saturday are hosting "Passport Day," with walk-in service for all U.S. citizens.
Passport Day -- also hyped by the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul and Gov. Mark Dayton -- is an annual national event sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs at all regional passport agencies and participating passport acceptance facilities. That includes post offices, clerk of court offices and county service centers.
What that means for people walking in is no-appointment-needed, one-stop shopping.
For example, the downtown Minneapolis agency, in the old federal building at 212 3rd Av. S., is not normally open on Saturdays. It also usually requires an appointment.
But Saturday, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Applications received Saturday will be given routine processing and applicants should receive their passports in four to six weeks.
If applicants need it sooner, they can pay extra to get it in less than four weeks.
If your child needs a passport, the child and both parents must appear to apply. If one parent cannot appear, then a signed and notarized "Minor Consent" form from the other parent must be submitted.
The Minneapolis agency opened in May 2009 and traffic has steadily increased, officials said. They accepted more than 10,000 applications in 2010.
"Counter service is our No. 1 priority at the Minneapolis agency," said Director Robert DeWitt. "We hope Passport Day will make more people aware of the convenient and customer-friendly service we provide to the Twin Cities community, as well as to greater Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, the three-state region we cover."
The impact of a possible federal government shutdown on the event is unclear. To check availability and to find a Passport Day facility near you, go to www.startribune.com/a294.
James Walsh • 612-673-7428
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