United States passport

United States passports are passports issued to citizens and nationals of the United States of America.[5] They are issued exclusively by the United States Department of State.[6] Besides passports (in booklet form), limited use passport cards are issued by the same government agency subject to the same requirements.[7] It is unlawful for U.S. citizens and nationals to enter or exit the United States without a valid U.S. passport or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant passport-replacement document,[8][9] though there are many exceptions,[10] waivers are generally granted for U.S. citizens returning without a passport, and the exit requirement is not enforced.

United States passport
The front cover of a contemporary United States biometric passport (with chip )
Front of a United States Passport Card (2009)
TypePassport
Issued by Department of State
First issued1775 (first version)
1926 (booklet)
1981 (machine-readable passport)
December 30, 2005 (diplomatic biometric passport booklet)
2006 (regular biometric passport booklet)[1]
PurposeIdentification
Valid inAll countries except North Korea[2]
EligibilityUnited States nationality
ExpirationNormally 10 years after acquisition for people at least age 16; 5 years for minors under 16[3]
CostBooklet: $145 (first), $110 (renewal), $115 (minors)
Card: $65 (first), $30 (when applying for or holder of a valid passport booklet), $30 (renewal), $50 (minor), $15 (minor, when applying for passport booklet)[4]

U.S. passport booklets conform with recommended standards (i.e., size, composition, layout, technology) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).[11] There are five types of passport booklets; as well, the Department of State has issued only biometric passports as standard since August 2007.[12] United States passports are property of the United States and must be returned to the U.S. government upon demand.[13]

By law, a valid unexpired U.S. passport (or passport card) is conclusive (and not just prima facie) proof of U.S. citizenship, and has the same force and effect as proof of United States citizenship as certificates of naturalization or of citizenship, if issued to a U.S. citizen for the full period allowed by law.[14] U.S. law does not prohibit U.S. citizens from holding passports of other countries, though they are required to use their U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States.[15]