What are the three types of passports?

1. Regular passports – which are issued by the Department of State to all citizens or nationals of the United States traveling abroad for personal or business reasons. Regular passports containing 48 pages are issued to those who travel frequently. Regular passports issued to persons 18 years of age or older are valid for 10 years.  Passports for those under 18 years of age are only valid for 5 years.

2. Official passports – are issued by the Department of State to employees of the U.S. Government proceeding, traveling, or on assignment abroad in discharge of their official duties.

3. Diplomatic passports – are issued to Foreign service officers, persons in the diplomatic service, or persons who have diplomatic status either because of the nature of their foreign mission or by reason of the office they hold. Dependents of such persons are also issued diplomatic passports. Diplomatic passports are issued by the Secretary of State to all full time U.S. Federal employees,  including military personnel assigned abroad, who are directly under the authority of the U.S. Chief of Mission in the country where they serve.

What is a passport card?

The U.S. began production of the U.S. Passport Card on July 14, 2008. As of March 2010, more than 2,700,000 Passport Cards have been issued to U.S. citizens. The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air. Difference Between Passport Book and Passport Card

Why do we need passports?

Passports are necessary documents that provide us with the means for travel and inside each passport are pages in which you will get exotic stamps or visas stamped on them by the country which you visit.

Are passports a collectible item?

Passports have become collectibles. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, 1998), Guy van Keer of Belgium holds the world record for his collection of 3,880 passports. The creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, used a passport for a wartime venture; in 2000, it sold for more than fifteen thousand pounds!

Can a passport be forged or stolen?

Forged and stolen passports has become a big business. Terrorist, spies and crooked people use stolen or forged passports.

What are the new passport rules regarding passport requirements and when do they take effect?

New Passport Requirements:

By December 31, 2005, passports will be required for all air and sea travel to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Central and South America.

By December 31, 2006, passports will be required for all air and sea travel to and from Canada and Mexico.

By December 31, 2007 passports or other accepted travel documents will be required for land border crossings to and from Canada or Mexico.

By January 1, 2008 all Americans departing and returning the United States will be required to have a valid U.S. passport.

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