You might be wrong if you think all U.S. passports are the same. Although there are five types of U.S. passports available, most passport holders will only have one. A regular passport is the most popular type of passport. However, less than half of U.S. citizens possess one.

Although most people are eligible for a regular passport it is helpful to be aware of the different types of U.S. passports available. One day you might be a diplomat, or have a job in government or volunteering that allows you to get one free of charge.

Regular passports

This is the standard navy blue passport that can be used for all types of travel. This type of passport is required for studying abroad, family vacations, and work travel.

This standard book includes 28 pages. However, for people who travel often, it’s possible to request a double-book with 52 pages.

To be eligible for this type passport, applicants will need to provide either an original or certified proof that they are U.S citizens (like a birth cert) along with a passport-size photograph and identification.

Most passports last for 10 years. These passports are valid for 5 years for those under 16 years of age.

Additional documentation may be needed if your name has been changed (e.g., due to divorce or marriage).

U.S. This passport is also available to U.S. citizens who were born in American Samoa, Swain Island or other territories.

It can take between six to nine weeks to obtain a U.S. passport. However, there are quicker ways. An applicant can apply to a U.S. passport office and pay an expedited fee ).

A subset of regular passport types is available for free. These passports are valid for five-years and are available to American National Red Cross employees, Peace Corps volunteers, and Department of Defense personnel.

Official passports

An official passport is available for those who are eligible. It is for people who travel for official business and work for the U.S government. The Department of State will approve the request for official passports from the primary passport holder. This includes the spouse and immediate relatives.

The Special Passport Issuance Agency must be contacted in order to apply for this type passport. This type of passport is free, but applicants must show the appropriate documentation to prove their eligibility.

To make them stand out, these passports feature the words “Official Passport” on a maroon cover. These passports are not valid for personal or leisure travel and cannot be used for official business. It is not possible to use the passport for a personal or leisure trip.

Diplomatic passports

This passport is available to foreign service officers and those who perform diplomatic duties for the United States abroad. The diplomatic passport has a black cover and is only valid for use on diplomatic business. This is why passport holders almost always have another regular passport to keep them safe while they are not in U.S. diplomatic service.

These passports can only be used on diplomatic missions that are subsidized and subsidized by America’s government. These passports are valid for only five years and require eligible documentation to prove the applicant’s diplomatic position as well as a copy or official orders from their assigned post. These passports can be obtained free of charge, but must be returned after the completion of diplomatic duties.

Service passports

The service passport is another rare type of passport. It has a gray cover. This passport is issued to third-party contractors who are traveling to the United States for official business purposes. If they are not eligible to travel with their regular passport, they would apply for this type of passport. This passport type is valid for only five years.

Passport cards

They are available for an additional fee and can be used in conjunction with regular passport applications. However, the card is more like an identification card than a book. These cards can be used for official identification as well as land border crossings to the United States or Mexico.

These cards are particularly useful for people who reside in the U.S. and travel frequently across the border for work or other reasons. This option is faster because a passport book would be quickly filled with stamps to cross the border.

You can also travel by sea to the U.S.A, Mexico, Canada and Bermuda with your passport. This is a great way to travel frequently by cruise without having to worry about your passport.

Passport cards are subject to the same eligibility criteria as regular passport books. Passport cards are valid for 10 years (for adults, $30) and for five years (for those under 16, $15 span).

Passport types for the U.S.

Next time you’re at an U.S. immigration check, look around at the passports. Some people have Global Entry, while others use Mobile Passport. Not everyone has the same passport cover color as U.S. citizens. If you see one with a different colored passport cover, you can now get a better idea of the work they do (or their family members).

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