Passport Requirements to Leave the U.S.

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Passport Card

Passport cards are accepted for travel between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean area. The passport card is cheaper than a regular passport book, and has been designed to increase speed and efficiency at United States land and sea border crossings. Passport cards contain a vicinity-read radio frequency identification chip (RFID), which indicates a stored record in government databases. Customs and border protection inspectors are now able to access photos and other information stored in the database.

Passport Book

U.S. passport books are required to travel internationally. If you are a first time applicant, you need to apply for the passport in person at a passport agency or an acceptance facility (see references for a link). You will be required to submit proof of U.S. citizenship in the form of one of the following: a certified U.S. birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth, a Naturalization Certificate or a Certificate of Citizenship. If you want to renew your passport, you can submit the forms with your current, undamaged passport by mail.

Visas and Other Requirements

Visas and inoculations are required by many countries if you are traveling abroad. The requirements for application vary greatly. For some countries you need to be vaccinated against a number of diseases and undergo a medical examination. Apply for a visa at the nearest embassy of the country you are visiting. Some countries, like Australia, allow online visa application for U.S. Citizens.

The website supplies information on the requirements for most international countries (see references).

Children under 16

An U.S. or Canadian citizen child under the age of 16 traveling between Canada, U.S., Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean needs to provide an original copy of his birth certificate, a Naturalization Certificate, a Canadian Citizenship card, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or a U.S. Passport Card. All children traveling internationally by air need to present their own passports. When applying for a passport, a child has to apply in person with both his parents present.



About the Author

Virtually growing up in a computer repair shop, Naomi Bolton has held a passion for as long as she can remember. After earning a diploma through a four year course in graphic design from Cibap College, Bolton launched her own photography business. Her work has been featured on Blinklist, Gameramble and many others.

Photo Credits

  • passport approval image by timur1970 from