Information on Passports

Information on Passports
When packing for your next overseas outdoor adventure, your checklist probably provides for your gear, protective equipment and clothes. There's one important thing to keep on your checklist when traveling--your passport. Passport rules are strict and must be adhered to in order to ensure a fun and stress-free trip.


Passports are regulated by the U.S. Department of State. Every person traveling between the United States and another country requires a passport (even babies).


Whether you're obtaining a passport for the first time or renewing one, you will need the following items: proof of citizenship (previously issued passport, birth certificate, naturalization certificate or consular report of birth if born abroad) and additional identification (driver's license, current military or government ID).


Passport photos must be exactly 2 by 2 inches, in color, and with your face looking towards the camera and taking up the majority of the frame. No headgear (hats or religious artifacts) is allowed, but prescription glasses that you wear on a daily basis are permitted.

Condition and Pages

Passports must be kept in good condition. Entrance (or return) to the United States may be denied if photographs are blurry, type is unclear or the booklet is battered. Make sure to leave enough room for each country you are traveling to; most countries require two to four blank pages for their entrance and exit stamps.


Passports are valid for 10 years for those who are 16 years old or older. Passports are valid for five years when the passport holder is under the age of 15. Processing time (for new passports and renewals) may take 10 weeks or more, although expedited service is available for a fee.

Article Written By Filonia LeChat

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.

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