Records, passport services will change in Dakota County
The United States Department of State has changed its policies regarding records and passport services. Instead of one-stop shopping, the agency has changed its policy so the same staff aren't processing birth and death records as wells as passports.
The change separating the two services is meant to better protect citizens, but it also means changes for area offices and where residents can obtain those services.
"They are concerned with staff having overlapping duties. They want it separated," said Kathy Jensen, Dakota County's department head at the service and license centers.
Jensen said Minnesota is very safe and she had hoped to persuade the State Department to make an exception. The changes will go into effect April 1.
To comply with the changes, birth and death records will no long be available at the Western Service Center in Apple Valley. Residents can obtain them at the Administration Center in Hastings, the Northern Service Center in West St. Paul or at the Dakota County License Centers in Burnsville, Lakeville and Rosemount.
Passports will be available at the Administration Center and the Western Service Center. Jensen said they have tried to be strategic in where birth and death records can be obtained. She said the biggest change will be in Apple Valley.
Jensen said while many counties in the state made the transition in January, Dakota County waited until April to try and get as many passport renewals processed as they could.
The county has been notifying people of the change since the beginning of the year. The county has extended hours to help people who have to travel to another town to access services. So far Jensen hasn't received much feedback.
"We're hoping for a good transition," said Jensen.
For more information about record and passport services visit www.dakotacounty.us.