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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:

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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Passports In The News

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Effective January 15 2019, Uganda will start issuing an e-passports/digital passports for its citizens, an Official from Internal affairs has confirmed. The newly introduced e-Passports will ...

Published:  Wed, 21 Nov 2018 04:34:00 GMT

Brexit will put focus on 'talents and skills,' not E.U. passports, May says

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Published:  Mon, 19 Nov 2018 07:10:00 GMT

More than 400 people receive Armenian passports in Syria

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Published:  Wed, 21 Nov 2018 03:29:00 GMT

Passports of 25 NRIs who deserted wives to be revoked

NEW DELHI: As more women come forward to report abandonment by NRI husbands, the latest information available with the women and child development ministry shows that the foreign ministry, over ...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 02:44:00 GMT

The case for and against cancelling terror suspects' passports

Up to 300 Australians have had their passports cancelled due to links to terrorism, according to estimates. Around a dozen of those stopped from leaving the country for fear they will join Islamic ext...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 23:57:00 GMT

Cancelled passports common link to terror plots

The passports of at least a dozen Islamic extremists in Victoria accused of plotting or committing terrorist acts had been cancelled by authorities. They include Hanifi Halis, 21, Ertunc ­Eriklioglu, ...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 09:21:00 GMT

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