How Do I Know If I Need a Passport?

Article Details
  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 17 March 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

A person wishing to leave the country that he holds citizenship in for any length of time will need a passport. In some cases, if a person is going on a cruise that doesn’t leave the general area of his country of origin, a passport will not be required. If somebody from Texas is traveling to Alaska, he will not require a passport on the flight, because despite the difference in geographical location, it is still part of the same country. The same applies to British people traveling to Jersey.

Passports are a form of identification used to show a citizen's country. A person will need a passport if he wishes to travel to any place that is outside of the country in which he holds citizenship. If a person goes through the naturalization process and becomes a citizen of a new country, then he can get a new passport in that country. Passports generally contain a photographic image, the holder’s full name, place of birth, date of birth and a unique passport number, which can be used to verify that the document is genuine.


Most passports come in the form of a book with pages that are stamped by a border official when you enter a new country. The US currently also offers a passport card, which contains all of the salient information in the form of a card, which can be used to enter neighboring countries such as Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Unless a person’s country of origin is operating a system similar to this one, he will need a passport book to travel to a different country.

Passports are primarily required for international travel, but they can also be used as a means of personal identification and to verify the age of the passport holder. This means that a person may need a passport if he does not hold any other form of photographic identification and wishes to purchase age-restricted products such as alcohol. Passports can also be used for age verification in places like nightclubs and casinos, which require patrons to be a certain age.

Applying for a passport can take up to six weeks. Generally, passports last for ten years from the issuing date, and a person may have trouble traveling abroad if his passport expires in less than six months. Both adults and minors need a passport, and there is a fee to apply for one. First-time applicants for a passport will likely have to attend a face-to-face meeting before being granted one.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?