A passport is an internationally recognized travel document attesting to the identity and nationality of the bearer. In essence, it is a request on the part of the issuing government that officials of foreign governments permit the bearer to travel or sojourn in their territories and to afford them all lawful aid and protection.
As of June 1, 2009 the U.S. government requires U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security. This includes travel to and from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean region, which includes 17 nations.
Citizens may apply for a Passport Book and/or Card. If applying for both at the same time, the same form may be used.
A Passport book may be used for land, sea, and air travel to anywhere. Expedited as well as overnight services are available.
A Passport card may only be used for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.Not to be used for travel by air.Expedited service is available however; overnight delivery return service is not. Passport cards are always mailed First Class mail.
Due to the amount of time it takes to execute an application for a passport, paperwork should be submitted by 4:30 pm in order to have your application completed by 5:00 pm.
The Clerk of Courts Office is the local government agency that may accept applications for passports. That application is then passed on to one of the passport services designated by the Secretary of State. The application is then reviewed, and is then issued or denied, and returned to the applicant. A check, money order or bank check is required for the passport agency to execute your application.
Additional information can be found at www.travel.state.gov or by contacting the agency at 1-877-487-2778. TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793