Americans now must present a valid passport book when coming back to the United States by air. U.S. citizens returning to the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land and sea ports of entry must present a passport book, passport card or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government.
In order to apply for a passport, applicants must bring proof of U.S. citizenship and proof of identity. Proof of citizenship can be established with a previous U.S. passport, birth certificate (with official seal), naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship or Consoler's Report of birth abroad. Identity can be established by providing a valid driver's license, military photo ID card, state issued photo ID card or government photo employee card.
The fee to obtain a passport is $110 for adults and $80 for children under the age of 16. In addition to the passport fee, there is a $25 processing fee. All applicants must provide two identical passport photos (2-inches-by-2-inches). Photos can be taken at the time of application for an additional $15. Normal processing of passports is six to eight weeks.
All United States birth certificates must include: full name of parent(s); be issued by the office of vital statistics of the state, county or city where birth occurred; show full name of child at birth; indicate date and place of birth; bear the embossed, impressed, multi-colored, or raised seal and signature of the issuing authority; indicate a registration or file date that is within one year of the birth; and be an original and certificate document (notarized copies and photocopies are not accepted.
To save time, applicants are urged to print a Passport application in advance by visiting http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.