Should I get a passport?

Passport Requirements


Safeguard Your Documents! Make two copies of all your travel  documents in case of emergency. Leave one copy with a trusted friend or  relative at home and carry the other separately from your original  documents. To help prevent theft, do not carry your passport in your  back pocket, and keep it separate from your money.

  • Passport: Apply several  months in advance for a new passport. If you already have one, it  should be valid for at least six months after you return home and have  two or more blank pages, depending on your destination. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.
    • Children’s passports: Passports issued  for children under age 16 are valid for only five years, not 10 years  like adult passports. Check passport expiration dates carefully and  renew early.  
    • Europe Travel via Canada and UK: Europe’s 26 Schengen countries strictly  enforce the six-month validity rule. If you are transiting through  Canada or the UK : which do not have that requirement : your passport  must be valid at least six months, or airlines may not let you board  your onward flight to Europe.
  • Visas: You may need to get a visa before you travel to a foreign destination. Contact the embassy of the countries you will be visiting for more information. 
  • Medications: Some prescription drugs, including narcotics and  some U.S. over-the-counter medications, are illegal in other countries.  Check with the embassy of your destination(s) about regulations and documentation before you travel.
  • Consent for Travel with Minors: If you are traveling alone  with children, foreign border officials may require custody documents or  notarized written consent from the other parent. Check with the embassy of your foreign destination before traveling to see what you may need.
  • International Driving Permit: Many countries do not recognize a U.S. driver's license, but most accept an International Driving Permit (IDP). You may also need supplemental auto insurance. Read more about driving and road safety abroad before you go.

Passport  Requirements

This  information is from the United States Government website.  Please visit  them for more updated information pertaining to travel documents and  traveling abroad at:


Implemented on January 23, 2007, ALL PERSONS traveling by air  between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the  Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid  travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. 

The following summarizes information available on the Department of Homeland Security’s website

  • JANUARY 31, 2008
    U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document,  or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, plus proof  of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. DHS also proposes to begin  alternative procedures for U.S. and Canadian children at that time.

Note: The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory


  • U.S. Passport:  U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air,  land or sea between the U.S. and the aforementioned Western Hemisphere  countries. 
  • The Passport Card:  This limited-use, wallet-size passport card is not yet available and is  under development.  When available it will only be valid for land and  sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean region  (includes Bermuda). 
  • Other Accepted Travel Documents: SENTRI, NEXUS,  FAST and the U.S. Coast Guard Mariner Document.  Members of the U.S.  Armed Forces on active duty traveling on orders are exempt from the  passport requirement. DHS has more information on these travel documents.  This information may be seen at


The  Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is a result of the Intelligence  Reform and Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), requiring all travelers to  present a passport or other document that denotes identity and  citizenship when entering the U.S.

The  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on February 22 its  intent to propose, as part of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the  Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), significant flexibility  regarding travel documents required for U.S. and Canadian children as  part of WHTI requirements for U.S. land and sea border entry in 2008.

The  goal of the initiative is to strengthen U.S. border security while  facilitating entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors by  providing standardized documentation that enables the Department of  Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler. 


  In an effort to  enhance security and efficiency at U.S. borders, the U.S. government is  now enforcing new passport requirements for all travelers entering or  re-entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, Central and South  America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Travel between the U.S. and U.S.  territories (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) will not  be affected.

               Click on the link below to get information on your passport now.