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A passport is an official government-issued travel document that contains a person’s identity. People with passports can travel abroad more easily and receive consular assistance. A passport proves the identity and citizenship of the holder. Passports usually contain your full name, photo, date of birth, signature, and passport expiry date. Passports are usually issued by the central government, but some local governments have the authority to issue passports to citizens residing within their borders.

Passport holders are generally eligible to enter the country that issued them, but some people eligible for passports may not be full citizens with residency (e.g. US or UK citizens). The passport itself does not create any rights in the country visited and does not impose any obligations on the issuing country in any way, for example, to provide consular assistance. Some passports indicate that the holder has the status of a diplomat or other official with rights and privileges such as immunity from arrest or prosecution.

Governments around the world issue many passports for a variety of purposes. The most common type is the ordinary passport issued to individual citizens and other citizens.

In the past, some countries have issued group or family passports. Passports today are generally issued to individual travelers rather than groups. In addition to regular passports issued by national governments to citizens, there are various types of passports issued by governments in certain circumstances.

An individual can usually only hold one passport, but some governments allow citizens to hold more than one regular passport. Individuals may also hold both a regular passport and a service or diplomatic passport.