Type P Passport—What to Know in 2024?

December 21, 2023

3 min. read


what does type mean on a passport

Before you pack your bags and set off for a paradise spot to embrace fun and adventure, it’s better to define the passport type you need for your journey. It can be a tricky undertaking to decipher the passport types out of a handful that exists.

There is an official, diplomatic, non-fee, emergency passport, and a few others that the US Department of State authorizes for travel abroad.

In this article, we’ll particularly explore what a Type P passport is and how to get one to travel overseas.

In Focus

What is a Type P passport?

It might be eye-opening to learn that a Type P passport is exactly what you need for tourism. While the abbreviated Type D is a diplomatic passport, a Type P blue passport is a regular passport every US citizen applies for to travel internationally.

A Type P regular passport is issued to US citizens for international travel.

It can be used as proof of citizenship and identity

at home or in a foreign country.

Type P and other US passports

There is a variety of travel designations why a passport can be issued. Passport colors also differ depending on the purpose of travel. Let’s look into the kinds of passports in detail.

Type P. Most US citizens use a tourist passport, which is a Type P standard passport. It has a navy blue shade cover. The validity of blue passports is ten years for adults and five years for minors under 16 years old.

Such a document is used for personal matters. That said, it’s also possible when a person has two different types of passports.

When applying for a tourist passport, applicants can choose to obtain a passport card or book. Frequent travelers can opt for an extended version of a passport book with more pages for entry stamps and visas.

Temporary. Such passports are similar to blue, regular passports but they have a limited validity. A temporary passport is used merely for traveling from one country to another for a specific occasion. US consulates or embassies issue it abroad when a previous passport was stolen, lost or damaged.

Alternatively, it might be given to a person by a passport agency in the US to go on an emergency international trip.

Official. The red-shade official passport is only granted to US government representatives. Using this passport, government officials and government employees travel abroad for official business.

Service. A gray-colored service passport is another document that the US government issues to contractors supporting the country in a foreign state. Such passports don’t have the full validity of a Type P passport.

Type D. As mentioned earlier, a Type D is a diplomatic passport. It has a black cover. The President of the US and high-rank officials hold such passports.

Advantages of Type P biometric passports

us passport type p

The fact that a passport book allows us to travel around the world is something we take for granted. At the same time, entering foreign countries is not the only opportunity we acquire together with a passport of a Type P. What else?

Real ID. If you don’t have a driving license or passport card for flying domestically, you can use your passport book. It’s totally fine.

In a few years, everyone will need a Real ID to board a home flight in the US. It is to begin on May 7, 2025. Still, an ordinary passport book will be compliant to fly domestically and internationally.

Passport power and visa-free travel. US citizens can enjoy traveling internationally to an impressive number of countries. There are 184 countries that US passport holders can reach without a priorly obtained visa.

Expiration date. A 10-year validity passport is a great advantage for the Type P passport holder. You don’t have to worry about passport renewal for the entire ten years and can travel away anywhere you desire.

Built-in biometrics. The new generation passport of Type P is an international identification document enhanced by advanced biometric technology. It’s perfectly compliant with the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The passport enables its holder to have fewer concerns about identity theft since the enhanced security features provide multi-factor data protection. Recently, a US passport has been modified with special inks, watermarks, holograms, and an RFID chip of 64 kilobytes.

How to get a passport Type P issued by the US Department of State?

type p passport usa

To simplify a journey to your new passport and consequently to your destination, let’s consider the necessary steps.

The process behind getting the Type P touristic passport is pretty straightforward. For that, an applicant must take the following steps.

1. Type P passport photos

To apply with a passport application for a Type P regular passport, you require a two-by-two-inch photo with a white background, a direct look into the camera, and a neutral facial expression. It must be a recent photograph in color. It’s advised to avoid wearing white attire, exaggerated smiles, and bulky accessories in a photo.

You can get a Target passport photo or pop into another store or pharmacy for it. Alternatively, take a valid picture right now with PhotoBooth Online.

2. Get the paperwork right

You can download the required passport application form at the US State Department’s official website at:

  • To get a new passport from scratch, complete the application DS-11.
  • If you’re not a first-timer in the passport application process and applied for your previous passport before, you need to renew your document with Form DS82.

3. Provide citizenship proof

Typically, passport applicants need to present:

  • Birth certificates for those originally from the US.
  • Naturalization certificates for those who originally was born in another country.

4. Provide identity proof

Here, you can show a government-issued ID in order to confirm your identity. For this purpose, applicants use a military ID card or a driver’s license that fully suffice.

5. Pay the application, execution, and expedite fees

type p passport meaning

The passport fee calculation is easy. Each applicant pays the application and execution fees during each application process. These are $130 and $35 respectively. The application fee is smaller for minors under 16—you’ll only pay $100 for your child’s passport application.

The expedite fee is optional. If you leverage the standard passport service, you would wait for 8-11 weeks. You can order a quicker passport service that allows you to obtain your passport a few weeks earlier. You need to add up another $60 to get a passport faster.

The processing times may be subject to change due to seasonal and objective reasons.

6. Collect your passport

The way you receive your Type P passport depends on how you apply for it. If you renew your document by mail, you get it in an envelope the same way. The rest of the documents arrive in a different package around the same time, before or after your Type P regular passport reaches you.

If you lodge your paperwork for your passport at an acceptance facility, you can choose whether to collect it at the same place or get it by mail as well.