Anyone seeking a U.S. passport in Omaha will need to head to southwest Omaha starting next week.

Officials are planning a grand opening Oct. 5 for the U.S. Postal Service Omaha Passport Center. The new center, at 5346 S. 136th St. in Deerfield Plaza, will handle all passport services for Omaha.

Four of Omaha’s five postal locations that included passport services no longer will take care of passport requests, said Keith Reid, Omaha postmaster.

“Most of the larger U.S. cities are going to passport centers for efficiency purposes,” he said.

The new center is situated at the site of an existing facility, the Postal Impressions Retail Station. The Deerfield Plaza location will continue to offer some limited retail services.

Officials have been mailing postcards explaining the change to postal service customers.

Consolidating passport matters, such as application appointments and processing, will reduce errors, make the effort more efficient and cut the process time in half, from 20 minutes to 10 minutes, Reid said.

Employees specializing in passport processing also should speed things up, he said.

“This new (passport process) is going to be a benefit for the Omaha community. It will be set up better for the customer,” Reid said. “We weren’t doing a great job every day, every hour.”

Customers can help, he said, if each has his or her own photo and a completed printout of an application, minus the signature.

Roger Humphries, an Omaha postal service spokesman, said customers should call 402-891-1922 to schedule a passport application appointment for Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., or Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Customers are urged to visit the U.S. State Department’s website, Travel.State.Gov, and click on “How to Apply for a Passport” for an application and a list of documents that are needed, Humphries said. Passport renewals are done online at the State Department website, too.

Most passports are valid for 10 years and cost $110 plus a $25 processing fee for anyone 16 years or older.

A passport for someone 15 years or younger is good for five years and costs $105. An online renewal is $110.

New passports are mailed to customers within four to six weeks.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1259, jay.withrow@owh.com

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