According to statistics from the US State Department published in the Washington Post, as of 2007 only 27% of Americans had a valid passport.  That’s not very many people, but passport applications have increased in recent years as passports become necessary for more and more people. Do you need a US passport?  Here are some reasons why you might:


If you are traveling outside of the US, you probably need a passport. This is even true if you are traveling to Canada or Mexico,  where passports were not required until recently. For more on travel regulations to our nearest neighbors, see this post on passport requirements in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

Also, travel sites across the Internet feature last-minute international travel deals.  If you have the flexibility to leave at the spur of the moment, you can often travel quite cheaply.  Having a US passport on hand gives you that flexibility.

A passport is not required for direct travel to other US states or territories. However, if you are traveling to a US state or territory and your travel itinerary requires you to go through another country to get there, then you may need a passport. For example, if you travel through Canada to get to Alaska, you’ll need to follow the rules for travel to Canada.


In today’s global economy, international business trips have become increasingly common. Although express passports are available for business travelers, having a passport on hand makes traveling overseas for business much easier.


If you or your spouse have family overseas, the US Department of State recommends that you keep your US passport current so that you can fly out to be with them in an emergency.

Generally, you should apply for a US passport at least 2 months in advance to make sure that you have it in time for your trip. However, if you need to travel unexpectedly, offers a convenient expediting option that makes it easy to get a passport in a hurry.

Be prepared: Expedite your US passport today!