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TopConsumerReviews.com provides unique articles that you won't find anywhere else on the internet. These articles are designed to help you make the most informed decisions possible.

When Do You Need A Passport?

A passport is a document which is issued by a national government as a means of identification for the person who holds it. It certifies the identity and nationality of the person listed on the document, which is important when traveling internationally.

In the United States, passports are issued through one of the State Department's 14 passport issuing centers. They also can be issued through clerks at federal and state courts, designated post offices and U.S. consular authorities in foreign countries for citizens who are living abroad.

Passports expire every 10 years for citizens over the age of 18 and every five years for those under 18. Upon expiration, passports must be replaced if the holder wishes to continue having one. Because people change in appearance with age, passports cannot simply be renewed, but must be completely replaced, including with an updated photo of the passport holder.

There was a time when the only people who needed a passport were those who traveled internationally on a frequent basis, or those who worked as foreign diplomats. However, passports are becoming more widely used for more reasons than just travel. Since 2009, Americans have been required to possess a passport to cross the border into Canada when traveling by airplane, whereas before they only were required to have valid photo identification and a birth certificate to prove citizenship.

So with all of these changes afoot, when do you need a passport?

The primary reason to own one is for foreign travel purposes. Passports have been required for entry into foreign countries, as well as re-entry into the United States from foreign countries, since Dec. 15, 1915, when an executive order was issued requiring all who traveled abroad to possess one. Prior to that, passports rarely were used for foreign travel or re-entry into the United States from a foreign country. There are only a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Closed Loop Cruises. Cruises that begin and end at the same United States port, known as closed-loop cruises, do not require a passport. A certified birth certificate and valid photo identification, such as a driver's license, are all that is necessary.
  • Nexus Cardholders. A Nexus Card is issued jointly between the United States and Canadian governments and is designed for those travelers who frequently commute between the two countries. It is awarded to low-risk travelers following a rigorous application process and can be used in place of a passport to travel between the two companies.
  • Land or Sea Travel. Traveling by land or sea to Canada or Mexico does not require a passport. However, you still will need more than a traditional driver's license or birth certificate to enter these countries and then re-enter the United States. A Nexus Card, which we previously discussed, can be used for this kind of travel. Land or sea travelers to these countries also can use an enhanced driver's license if they are available through their states. Currently, only the states of New York, Michigan, Vermont and Washington offer enhanced driver's licenses.

Even if yours is a situation which does not require a passport for travel, it is highly recommended that all travelers possess one. During emergency situations, air travel which was not previously planned may become necessary, which would require a passport. For that reason, travelers should weigh the benefits and risks of not having a passport before they leave the country.

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Published:  Sat, 16 Mar 2019 23:59:00 GMT



Did Edith Piaf Make Fake Passports to Help Prisoners Escape from Nazi Camps

During World War Two, singer Edith Piaf helped 120 prisoners of war escape from Nazi camps by fabricating phoney identity cards for them. An old story about Edith Piaf got a new lease of life in ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Mar 2019 17:49:00 GMT



Two Iranians arrested entering Argentina with fake Israeli passports

The male and female Iranians-27-year-old Sajjad Naserani and 30-year-old Mahsoreh Sabzali-were arrested after entering Argentina as Netanel and Rivka Toledano, carrying passports replete with mistakes ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Mar 2019 16:27:00 GMT



Smashing Security #119: Hijacked homes, porn passports, and ransomware regret

A $150 million mansion is hijacked online, Brits will soon have to scan their passport to watch internet porn, and are organisations right to pay up when hit by ransomware All this and much more is ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Mar 2019 19:26:00 GMT



Iranian couple arrested in Buenos Aires carrying fake Israeli passports

It was further revealed Monday that the couple carried four fake passports - two with which they boarded an Air Europe flight from Spain, and two Israeli ones which they used to enter Argentina, ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:36:00 GMT



2 Rohingya women among 3 held; fake passports found

They were about to catch a Kualalumpur-bound flight (No AK 62) at around 11.30 pm. The court remanded Kallol in four days' police custody while sending Rafika and Noor in judicial custody. Kolkata: ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Mar 2019 13:44:00 GMT



Colombia to allow Venezuelans to enter on expired passports

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia will allow Venezuelans to cross the border using expired passports in view of the difficulty of renewing travel documents in the neighboring country in the midst of its ...

Published:  Fri, 08 Mar 2019 18:16:00 GMT



Report: Mossad head to apologize for forging British passports

The new head of Israel's Mossad is set to apologize for using forged British passports during an assassination operation in Dubai, a British newspaper is reporting. The Daily Telegraph reported ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Mar 2019 18:06:00 GMT



Is the Trump Administration Price Gouging Puerto Rico Evacuees and Seizing Passports

On 28 September 2017, The Hill and Marketwatch both reported that the Trump administration was "forcing evacuees from Puerto Rico to sign promissory notes ensuring full repayment for transportation ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Mar 2019 17:35:00 GMT



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