Show and Tell: Passport

March 7, 2009

Since I’ll be using it in less than 24 hours to enter the homeland of Don Quixote, I thought I’d show you my passport. (And apologies in advance for less commenting and reading than usual for the next week. I’ll still post a couple of times for Barren Bitches Book Brigade and Thoughtful Thursday.)

I was quite surprised when I renewed my passport last year to see that they’d made some changes to the design. U.S. passports are renewed every 10 years, and these changes were made in 2007 to incorporate enhanced security features and presumably enhanced patriotism. It’s been described as “a coloring book that your brother already colored in”, “the ugly khaki shorts of passports”, and “Colbert-cliched”.

The cover hasn’t changed much.

The blank pages used to be pretty close to blank — blue, with an eagle insignia lightly printed. Every passport from another country that I can recall seeing is also quite simple.

Not anymore. Apparently, they decided that the eagle and “United States of America” on the cover wasn’t obvious enough. Every page now screams, “America!” and most include an inspirational quote.
Inside Cover

Here is the Independence Hall/Liberty Bell page with the visas from my trip to Asia last fall:

Here are some of the many pages still awaiting stamps.

Free-roaming buffalo, a thing of the past:

Mount Rushmore:

The Heartland of America:


And my old friend the Statue of Liberty:

I have not included the following pages: information such as ways that I can lose my citizenship and a reminder not to carry illegal drugs across borders (with a mountain background), a reminder that I’m still obligated to pay taxes even if I live outside the U.S. (Hawaiian background), a ship at sea approaching a lighthouse, a steamboat on the river, a locomotive spewing smoke across the countryside, Alaskan totem pole and bear eating a salmon, satellite orbiting earth, and the emergency contact (cactus background) and photo page. C’mon, you didn’t think I was going to show you my passport photo, did you?

Go around the world in a different sense at Show and Tell.


19 Responses to “Show and Tell: Passport”

  1. Carrie Says:

    Wow. That is really- patriotic? Mine is the old, plain one, and I just realized right this second that it expires soon. Thanks for that added anxiety. (Just kidding).

    Have a great trip! 🙂

  2. a Says:

    Wow…now that everyone needs to have a passport, and whoever issues the passports should be able to make a nice profit, they have to go and waste it all on pictures that will make the country stamps difficult to see!

  3. I was so upset when I had to get a new passport b/c I lost all my beloved stamps from college. I have a new passport and am just waiting to use it. Hopefully a trip to Ireland next year will break it in. Have a good trip.

  4. Wow, our Passports in Canada are really plain in comparison. I think the new US ones are pretty cool! Speaking of passports, time to get mine. As in, for the first time. I’ve never had one, meaning I’ve never left the continent, how sad is that? Need to get a passport if I ever want to travel to the States after June. New rules and all that.

  5. Photogrl Says:

    The new ones are quite different! Busy almost…

    Have a great trip!

  6. Malky B. Says:

    Yeah, I got a new passport last year. I thought it looked quite different than the last one as well.

  7. Pundelina Says:

    What a busy passport. Australian passports have a fingerprint thing on every page and a stiff centre page with a microchip in it. I want artwork and inspirational messages. I wonder if the passport artists are more fulfilled in the USA?

    Enjoy Spain!

  8. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    Wow…..maybe in a few weeks from now, I shall also post the snap of my passport. I had one made only last year and in India as well, they are renewed every 10 years. I can very easily recognize most of the images on those!

  9. Kristin Says:

    Now come on…we need the passport pic! I don’t have a current passport but I still have the one I got when I was 2 yrs old.

  10. Dora Says:

    Yup, I renewed mine last year. Erica, didn’t they send you your old, expired passport with the new one? They did with mine.

    Cassandra, have a wonderful, wonderful trip!! You deserve it! Looking forward to your pictures.

  11. Eve Says:

    Laughing! I’m not kidding you when I say that my passport photo looks like I’m an Eastern European Terrorist. I hope yours is better than that! Have soooo much fun on your trip, btw!!!!!!!


  12. Michell Says:

    Interesting. I’ve never had a passport. The only time I’ve ever been out of the US was to Canada and this was before 9/11 and all I needed was my birth certificate.

  13. Haley Says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize they had changed them that much! Mine doesn’t need renewing for a few years, so I have the wonderful pictures of America to look forward to 🙂

  14. I must say I HAD hoped you would post your picture, even though I knew you wouldn’t. They sure did change a lot! Have a safe and fun trip!

  15. Ellen Says:

    Wow that is crazy how much they have changed. I haven’t had one since I was little… Maybe if I get one I will use it as an excuse to actually use it! Have a fun and safe trip!

  16. Brenna Says:

    Oh wow! That’s…that’s a lot of patriotism right there. I definitely feel like I should hear Steven Colbert’s voice narrating in the background accompanied by the screeching of the eagle.

  17. Wishing4One Says:

    Wow i like it. I have awhile yet to renew mine, but how very patriotic they have made it. Have a great, safe and fun trip!

  18. I didn’t know passports had gotten so fancy-schmancy. I won’t need a new one until 2016, I think.

    I miss the era in my life when I had to go to an embassy to ask for extra pages.

    Vaya con Dios, mi amiga!

  19. Cat Says:

    Huh, I just got my very first passport in 2008 (pathetic, I know) for a trip to Mexico. Border patrol looked at it once, but no stamps for me.

    Knowing now that all the fancy-pants pages are new, I can’t help but wonder how many worthwhile organizations could have been helped out by the cost of this little project.

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