Planning international travel includes making sure you have proper and current documentation to enter another country. Contact AAA for information on resources for passports, visas, and International Driving permits.
Travel Documentation FAQs
Can I get come to AAA to process my passport?
AAA cannot process your passport application. But we can give you application forms and take your passport photo from any of our branch offices or our headquarters in St. Louis Park. AAA Plus and Premium members of AAA Minneapolis receive one free set of passport photos per member each year.
If you are a first time US Passport applicant, you must apply in person. Many post offices and government offices process passport applications, with approximately 26 locations in Hennepin County offering this service. Be sure to call first, as they may require an appointment. Those requiring a passport in less than two weeks should contact the Minneapolis Passport Agency, as the service can be expedited in person. For more information, check out the Minneapolis Passport Agency.
If you are renewing your passport, it can be done through the State Department by mail.
How long does it take to get a passport?
Allow eight weeks if you do not expedite your application. The State Department anticipates heavier volume of applications in 2016 than in past years, so make sure you allow plenty of time. Passport applications can be rejected if the proper identification, photo style, or other requirements are missing, so be sure to read instructions carefully before mailing your paperwork. This time frame is an estimate based on information provided by the State Department and not a guarantee. A rule of thumb for those renewing: Once you get to one year left on your passport, send it in for renewal so you have it ready to go when you need it.
What different types of passports can I choose from?
The Passport Book, by far the most commonly used documentation, is used to travel internationally by air, sea or land. The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air. More information on both is available from the State Department.
How do I know if I need a Visa to visit a foreign country?
AAA’s partner, Travisa, offers Visa processing, online visa application forms, and other country information. You can find out if you need a visa for most countries at this website.
For a modest fee, AAA membersbooking a travel package through AAA can receive assistance with their foreign visa application process.
How do I know if I need shots or medical certificates to visit a foreign country?
Medical requirements are listed on the chart under Purpose of Trip on the Travisa chart. However, we strongly recommend you contact the consulate of the country you are visiting for current recommendations, and your medical provider or travel clinic for personal recommendations and advice. AAA travel agents are not qualified to make medical recommendations for clients beyond advising what the travel supplier requires for visiting a particular country.
I have heard that I need at least six months of validity on my passport to travel abroad. Is this true?
Many countries now require a passport must be valid for a certain number of months from the date of entry, or a certain number of months after the passport holder leaves the country. Each country makes its own rules in this regard, and the rules can change, so it is wise to know before you go.
A good source of up-to-date information about passport validity is the U.S. Department of State’s travel website, which lists entry requirements by country. You may also consult the embassy websites of countries you wish to visit.
I’m planning a vacation to Mexico or the Caribbean for our family in the near future. Will everyone need a passport?
Yes, if you are traveling by air, every US citizen of every age will need a passport book to travel to Mexico or anywhere in the Caribbean.
Do I need a passport to travel to the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico?
If you are a US Citizen, no. But you do still need the normal TSA required government issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or State ID.
What other recommendations do you have for me as I prepare to travel abroad?
First, book your international travel through a AAA travel agent, who can help you find the perfect trip at the best value, and address the myriad of other concerns you may have beyond proper documentation.
Also, we strongly recommend the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which is a free service allowing US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. This service offers the following benefits to travelers:
Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.