The president need a passport, but it is not the same as everyone else's. The president of the United States, his immediate family, select high officials, and diplomatic workers are all granted diplomatic passports with a black cover and no passport fee. Other U.S. citizens can apply for a special presidential passport at a cost of $80, but most do not have this privilege.
Diplomatic passports are valid for 10 years. The president's first passport was issued on May 28, 1977. He has been granted seven more since then, the last one being used just days before he was inaugurated for a new term in 2009.
The president must update his or her passport every time their visa status changes and when the passport expires. However, they can delay or avoid having to renew their passport if they remain outside the United States or its territories for more than six months at a time.
In 2007, President George W. Bush did not renew his passport because his wife, Laura, had not yet finished her new job as secretary of state. In 2013, Obama also failed to renew his passport because his new role as president prevented him from doing so.
Since taking office, Obama has not updated his own passport file because there have been no changes to his visa status or required renewal date. However, any future president would be expected to do the same.
Diplomatic passports, which have a black cover and do not require the possessor to pay a passport fee, are issued to the president of the United States, his immediate family, certain high officials, and diplomatic employees.
These special passports allow their owners to travel freely between any of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as to any other country that grants similar privileges to American citizens. Although most countries only grant such rights to prominent political figures, the U.S. Constitution's Article II provides for the office of president to be either a "president" or a "vice president", so neither position is considered a political appointment. Therefore, no presidential candidate has ever had his or her name removed from the list of candidates available for issuance of diplomatic passports.
The first four presidents received diplomatic passports upon taking office. Their names appear in the data section of each passport along with the official designation "President of the United States". The current president, Donald Trump, has three children: Eric, Tiffany and Ivanka. All three were granted diplomatic passports prior to reaching the age required by law to serve as president. Eric was granted a diplomatic passport at the age of 18 while Tiffany and Ivanka were given them at birth. No other person who has been mentioned as a possible future president has been granted a diplomatic passport.
A government-issued or "no charge" passport can be quite useful. It is free for command-sponsored military family members and Department of Defense civilians stationed overseas, and it permits them to avoid the hassle of obtaining for a tourist passport. Travel documents must be obtained by applicants age 14 or older. Children under 18 cannot apply alone; they must be accompanied by an adult who will be responsible for helping them with the application process.
The application forms are available online at www.travel.state.gov/passport. You can also print them out from there. They are found in the same place as other passport applications: at the local post office or passport agency. If you live outside of an urban area, you may not have access to a post office or passport agency that handles these forms. In that case, you can order them by phone through the National Passport Agency (NPA) at 877-PASS-STATE (877-737-2767).
The process of applying for a free passport takes about 10 minutes. After submitting your application, you should receive it within 6-8 weeks. You can use this document to travel abroad with your family member as long as it's within the validity period.