Passport requirements phased in as a result of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) require U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling within North America and the Caribbean to present passports whereas in the past it was often sufficient to present only proof of citizenship and identity such as a birth certificate or drivers license.
Why should I get a passport?
A passport is the best form of international identification and proof of citizenship. If you are planning to travel outside of your country you will most likely need one. It is not difficult to get a passport, put it takes time.
How long does it take to get a passport?
Passport processing times vary, but it often takes up to a month or longer, especially during peak times. You should be sure to apply for your passport well in advance of your travel dates, although in some cases you can rush your passport application for an extra fee.
What documents do I need to get a passport?
Along with the passport application form you will need to submit proof of your citizenship with one of these documents: birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad, naturalization certificate or a Canadian citizenship card. You will also need to submit photos with your application. The photos must meet certain specifications, or they will be rejected.
How much does it cost to get a passport?
A US passport book costs $100 USD for adults and is valid for ten years. For children, the passport costs less but is only valid for five years. A US passport card is also valid for ten years for adults, $35 USD for children and valid for five years. A Canadian passport is valid for five years.
Here are some resources to help you find out how to apply for and get a passport:
US Citizens: Get a Passport
If you are a US citizen, you have a choice between a conventional passport book and a passport card. The card is cheaper, but it is only good for travel by land and sea - if you'll be traveling by air you need to get a passport book. Find out how to get a US Passport or Passport Card.