A passport book is required for all international travel by air.
To enter the United States at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, you can use a passport book or a passport card.
A passport card is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book, but it cannot be used for international travel by air.
How to Apply
The application process is the same for either the passport book or card, even if you want both at the same time. You have to go in person to present your application.
From Within the United States
If you need to get a passport in two weeks or less, you will need an expedited process. To find out where you need to go and what additional fees you’ll pay, follow the steps to get a passport quickly.
If you will be traveling in three weeks or more, you can follow the regular application process and apply in person at a passport acceptance facility.
Application Form - To complete the application for a passport book, card, or both together, first do one of the following:
Fill out the application online. Use the Passport Application Wizard to step through the process of filling out the application. When you’ve completed the application, print it out to take to the passport acceptance facility. Passport applications cannot be submitted online.
Whether you fill it out online or by hand, it is important that you do not sign the form until you are instructed to do so in front of a passport designated official you will meet when applying in person.
Application form - Use the renewal application form DS-82. You can print it and fill it out by hand, or use the Passport Application Wizard to complete the form online and print it out. While applications can be filled out online, they cannot be submitted online. You can also get a DS-82 form at a local passport acceptance facility or regional agency.
If your trip is not within 2 weeks, but you need your U.S. passport more quickly than the normal processing period of 4 to 6 weeks, you can request expedited service by mail or in person at a passport acceptance facility near you.
In addition to the regular passport application costs, the expedited service will cost an extra $60, plus any delivery costs.
Children ages 16-17 applying for a passport can do it by themselves if they have their own identification documents. However, it is recommended that at least one parent appears in person with the child to show parental awareness.