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Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Old Jan 11th 2020, 7:08 pm
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Default Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

I have heard that statement going around a few times over the years. I am just wondering how true it is.
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Old Jan 11th 2020, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Who knows and who cares?

I have one. My daughters have theirs. My son-in-laws have theirs. My sister and brother-in-law have theirs. My niece and nephew and their spouses have theirs. I don't give a rat's arse about the rest of Americans.

Perhaps you need to think WHY would such a large percentage not have passports? Off the top of my head I can think of many.
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Old Jan 11th 2020, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

It seems in 2019 there were 146,775,089 US passports in circulation.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...tatistics.html

About 44%

Last edited by lansbury; Jan 11th 2020 at 7:17 pm.
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Old Jan 11th 2020, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
It seems in 2019 there were 146,775,089 US passports in circulation.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...tatistics.html

About 44%
So 56% of people don't have them then or at least have them current. Interesting.
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Old Jan 11th 2020, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
It seems in 2019 there were 146,775,089 US passports in circulation.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...tatistics.html

About 44%
Some of those may be dead.
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Old Jan 11th 2020, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by andyrebell View Post
So 56% of people don't have them then or at least have them current. Interesting.
Not sure if you live in the US and if you are here, not sure how long you've been here. Americans don't travel the way the Brits do - they take shorter vacations and most of those are domestic. I believe this is partly due the size of this country (don't feel the need to go overseas) and partly due to the work culture here (less vacation time). I know a few of my co-workers only got passports after 9/11 because they couldn't go to Canada any more with just a driver's license.
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 12:02 am
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by Derrygal View Post
Not sure if you live in the US and if you are here, not sure how long you've been here. Americans don't travel the way the Brits do - they take shorter vacations and most of those are domestic. I believe this is partly due the size of this country (don't feel the need to go overseas) and partly due to the work culture here (less vacation time). I know a few of my co-workers only got passports after 9/11 because they couldn't go to Canada any more with just a driver's license.
Also, there are beaches, mountains, wilderness areas, puerto rico and I think 3 other US caribbean islands, Hawaii and Alaska. All make for a fabulous holiday without the need for a passport.
I knew a load of french people who only had identity cards and no passports. Didn't need them for most of EU getaways.
Brits on the other hand, need a passport to go, well, anywhere really since it's needed to get back in.
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 8:22 am
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

If I didnt live in Canada and married to a Canadian, I wouldnt fuss with a passport. I only have one because I live In Canada and need it to cross the border without issues.

I only got my passport originally in 2000 as I was going to Australia for 2 weeks. Other then that trip in April 2000, I have only travelled between Canada and California.

Reminds me I need to renew my passport it expires in March.


I would travel overseas if I could as I like to see new countries but to get from North America to just about anywhere else is expensive.

Last edited by Jsmth321; Jan 12th 2020 at 8:24 am.
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
It seems in 2019 there were 146,775,089 US passports in circulation.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...tatistics.html

About 44%
Is that just full passports? What about state-issued enhanced drivers licenses?
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Also, there are beaches, mountains, wilderness areas, puerto rico and I think 3 other US caribbean islands, Hawaii and Alaska. All make for a fabulous holiday without the need for a passport.
I knew a load of french people who only had identity cards and no passports. Didn't need them for most of EU getaways.
Brits on the other hand, need a passport to go, well, anywhere really since it's needed to get back in.
Exactly. Want to ski? Want to lie on a sandy beach with balmy weather? Want to climb (or look at) a 14,000 ft mountain? Want to look at massive engineering structures like the Hoover dam? Want to see amazing natural phenomenon like the Grand Canyon? If you live in the UK, you need to use a passport. If you live in the US, you don't. So that would account for a huge number of people not having passports in the US.
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Is that just full passports? What about state-issued enhanced drivers licenses?
State issued enhanced drivers licenses are not used for foreign travel and I believe that is the reason why the question was originally asked.

FWIW, I don't have a state enhanced DL. Don't have one here in MS and never had one in NY. I entered Canada always with my US Passport.
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
State issued enhanced drivers licenses are not used for foreign travel and I believe that is the reason why the question was originally asked.

FWIW, I don't have a state enhanced DL. Don't have one here in MS and never had one in NY. I entered Canada always with my US Passport.
Well, they are good for travel to Canada, and, I believe, for boarding cruises that call at various destinations in the Caribbean. I believe it’s an important part of the answer to the question of why many Americans don’t have full passports - people earlier in the thread mentioned how large and varied the US is. Well, add in Canada, and that’s a huge area accessible without a full passport.

I have a passport and an enhanced DL, just a small convenience, I travel to Canada dozens of times a year, and don’t need to get out my passport. But I know loads of people who only have an enhanced DL (folks go over to Canada for shopping, visiting family etc. where I live.)
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Exactly. Want to ski? Want to lie on a sandy beach with balmy weather? Want to climb (or look at) a 14,000 ft mountain? Want to look at massive engineering structures like the Hoover dam? Want to see amazing natural phenomenon like the Grand Canyon? If you live in the UK, you need to use a passport. If you live in the US, you don't. So that would account for a huge number of people not having passports in the US.
That's about to change however for Americans who don't have passports because...

Beginning on the first of October 2020 NO ONE (Americans included) will be able to board any flight (domestic or otherwise) or enter any secure Federal building without what is being labelled a
REAL ID Compliant Driver License or ID card. This differs from driver licenses/ID cards issued previously.
A valid passport however is deemed to be a REAL ID Compliant document.

I learned about this when I received notification from the DMV that my driver license would be due for renewal in Feb.

Thought adding this would be helpful in case my post confuses anyone: https://www.tsa.gov/real-id

Last edited by MMcD; Jan 12th 2020 at 8:17 pm. Reason: Link added
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by MMcD View Post
That's about to change however for Americans who don't have passports because...

Beginning on the first of October 2020 NO ONE (Americans included) will be able to board any flight (domestic or otherwise) or enter any secure Federal building without what is being labelled a
REAL ID Compliant Driver License or ID card. This differs from driver licenses/ID cards issued previously.
A valid passport however is deemed to be a REAL ID Compliant document.

I learned about this when I received notification from the DMV that my driver license would be due for renewal in Feb.
Isn’t that just a fancy description of an enhanced DL?
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Old Jan 12th 2020, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: Is it true that 70% of Americans don't have passports?

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Isn’t that just a fancy description of an enhanced DL?
I think it may be - though it seems to depend on the particular issuing State...I added a Dept of Homeland Security link to my post above. It goes into all the gritty nitty
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