How Do I Know If I Need a Passport?

Lee Johnson

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.

Depending on the treaty status their nation has with the European Union, some European citizens do not need a passport to travel within most of Europe.
Depending on the treaty status their nation has with the European Union, some European citizens do not need a passport to travel within most of Europe.

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.

United States residents traveling outside the country will need a valid passport.
United States residents traveling outside the country will need a valid passport.

Get started

Want to automatically save money while you shop online?

Join 3 million Wikibuy users who have found 
$70 million in savings over the last year.

Wikibuy compensates us when you install Wikibuy using the links we provided.

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
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: