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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.

Ever wondered why passports come only in four colours? Here's an answer

Passports across the world come in variations of four basic colours, which are blue, black, red, and green. It is usually assumed that there must be some rule dictating the choice of colours, but to ...

Published:  Thu, 17 Oct 2019 23:26:00 GMT



Syrian family deported after producing fake passports

Airport officials said that the family had initially produced a fake United Arab Emirates (UAE) passport at the arrival terminal. However, Immigration officials had recovered their original Syrian ...

Published:  Sun, 20 Oct 2019 18:33:00 GMT



Ten passports, 400 flights and 15 pairs of trainers: The man running a marathon in every country

Nick Butter has run 4,876 miles, taken more than 400 flights, filled up 10 passports, gone through 15 pairs of trainers, been thrown in a police cell, mugged, attacked by wild dogs and spent half a ...

Published:  Sat, 19 Oct 2019 04:28:00 GMT



She's 2 Years Old. Her Parents Have British Passports. So Why Is the U.K. Trying to Deport Her?

A two-year-old girl is facing deportation from the U.K. even though her parents each hold a British passport, in a move described as "cruel and sadistic" by a U.K. human rights lawyer Like us on ...

Published:  Fri, 18 Oct 2019 02:56:00 GMT



Cypriot MP Demands Answers for Passports to Cambodian Elite

ATHENS - A Cyprus opposition lawmaker on Thursday called on the government to explain itself after Reuters disclosed relatives and allies of Cambodia's leader acquired Cypriot passports under a ...

Published:  Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:58:00 GMT



Cyprus opposition wants to know how Cambodian elite got passports

ATHENS (Reuters) - Opposition parties in Cyprus on Thursday called on the government to explain how relatives and allies of Cambodia's leader acquired Cypriot passports under a secretive investment ...

Published:  Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:50:00 GMT



1,000 e-passports awaiting collection in New York -CG

The Nigerian Consulate in New York has said that over 1,000 e-passports are awaiting collection. The Consul-General, Benaoyagha Okoyen said the backlogs of passport and visa applications were being ...

Published:  Thu, 17 Oct 2019 12:21:00 GMT



Man allegedly handled stolen Chinese passports and phone

A Dublin man has appeared in court accused of handling a stolen mobile phone, three Chinese passports and a sum of cash following an incident in the Phoenix Park. Aaron Reville (22) replied: "Why am I ...

Published:  Fri, 18 Oct 2019 18:30:00 GMT



Cyprus MP demands answers on Cambodia cash-for-passports case

Cyprus MP responds to report that family members and allies of Cambodia's longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen had obtained EU passports under a citizenship-for-investment scheme Irene Charalambides said ...

Published:  Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:48:00 GMT



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