Four service centers in Hennepin County will discontinue offering passport application services effective Friday, Nov. 1.
The change follows requirements set by the U.S. State Department to keep passport services separate from providing identification and birth records to county residents.
The requirements have been in place since May 1, meaning the county increased expenses to create separate physical spaces for the services at the Maple Grove, Brookdale, Southdale and Ridgedale centers, according to Service Center Division Manager Kathy Schons.
“I believe they are trying to keep them as separate as they can to ensure (the) integrity of identity documents,” Schons said.
Applications for first-time driver’s licenses, state identification cards and instruction permits will continue as services at the Brookdale, in Brooklyn Center, Southdale, in Edina, Ridgedale, in Minnetonka and Maple Grove service centers. There are 18 other locations in Hennepin County for residents to submit a passport application, including the post offices in Bloomington, Richfield, Robbinsdale and Wayzata, Schons said.
The county does not anticipate any layoffs as a result of removing the passport service function from the four centers, she said.
Separating passport and identification services has been inefficient for staff at the service centers. “It was a cost to staff time and financial resources,” Schons said. “With these final changes, it was determined we need to focus on core county and state services,” she said.
Hennepin County processes between 28,000 and 30,000 passport applications each year, according to Schons.
Info: travel.state.gov to search for passport application locations in Hennepin County.
Contact Katy Zillmer at firstname.lastname@example.org