The main purpose of the US Passport is quite simple, to give the identity and nationality of an international traveler. While the Passport document helps to allow travelers admittance into another country, it does not assure entry into the desired country. The actual entitlement of a US Passport is to allow its bearer back into the United States. Importance of this document in traveling abroad is; however, still relevant and beneficial in gaining entry so guaranteeing that the booklet has not expired by using Passport Replacement is vital . This document, like everything else, has its own unique history that has changed and shaped it into the standardized booklet used today.
The first known record of the formation and usage of a passport like document in the United States was during The War Of Independence in 1775. They were much different in appearance during this time and there was no specific need of an Expedited Passport service which is currently available for a fast return. The document was one single page that bore no picture, just a description of the bearer. They were designed, at this time, as a replica of the French passport, by the Minister of France, Benjamin Franklin. Although they had a standard outline, they were not a requirement for US citizens until much later.
Passports had been used for centuries in the US as well as numerous other countries, but were not actually mandatory for international travel until 1918. It was around this time that Passports contained identification pictures of the bearer instead of just a physical description which was previously accepted. The photos were loosely attached with staples, but were stamped by the issuing department to prevent forgery. At this time, the Passport along with the mug shot, were the only two types of personal identification through a photograph.
In the 1920s, the League of Nations attempted to produce standard guidelines for all Passports, but was not able to accomplish this until much later. It was these guidelines; however, that helped shape current standards. Around this time pictures were glued instead of stapled onto the documents. Pictures further progressed in the 1970s when they went from black and white to colored. It was only a decade later that the pictures in issued documents were laminated on for further forgery protection. It was during this era that the official outlined standards were created for the US Passports under the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The Passport has changed physically as well as in terms of its relevance over the years since its origination back during The War of Independence. Currently a US Passport is issued with all of the bearer’s personal information along with a digitally generated picture from a Passport Agency. It is used to help gain access during international travel. This document is now required to gain entry into any country along with returning back to one’s home country. The Passport is strictly issued by the US Department of State. There is a strict process when applying for a US Passport which must be adhered to in order to succeed in obtaining one without tribulations.