Hennepin County service centers will stop processing applications for passports and will start processing first-time driver’s licenses at all locations on Nov. 1.
New federal regulations require that passport offices be physically separated from offices that provide birth records and driver’s licenses, and the county’s facilities provide those services in shared locations. The new requirements are intended to prevent passport fraud.
The change is not related to the current federal government shutdown, and the county will continue to process passport applications at the Brookdale, Maple Grove, Ridgedale and Southdale locations through Oct. 31.
“The county’s service centers have been the largest processor of passports in the country, west of Chicago,” said Mark Chapin, director of Taxpayer Services. “We’re disappointed that we’ll no longer be able to provide this important service to our residents, but there are other passport locations in Hennepin County where residents can apply, and we’ll be helping customers find a location that works for them.”
Along with the passport change, all service centers will process applications for first-time driver’s licenses and state ID cards. First-time driver’s licenses are issued to residents who are new to the state and Minnesota residents who have completed both the driver’s instruction permit and provisional requirements. For information, visit www.hennepin.us/servicecenters.