A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that serves as the ultimate form of proof of a person's citizenship. U.S. passports are issued by the U.S. Passport Agency. Check with your local post office for access to their passport agents.
If you do not have a passport, apply for it as soon as possible. If you can, try to apply at least 3 months before you plan to depart.
U.S. citizens require passports to exit/enter the U.S. It is the traveler's responsibility to carry the correct identification during their travels abroad.
To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to the passport agent at your local post office with 2 passport-type photographs, your birth certificate, and a valid form of photo identification, such as a drivers license. Be sure to sign the inside page of your new passport when it arrives.
You can renew by mail if your most recent passport is available to submit and is not damaged; you received the passport within the past 15 years; you were over the age of 16 when it was issued; you still have the same name; or can legally document your name change.