Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A document that indicates permission granted by a sovereign to its citizen to travel to foreign countries and return and requests foreign governments to allow that citizen to pass freely and safely.
With respect to International Law, a passport is a license of safe conduct, issued during a war, that authorizes an individual to leave a war-ring nation or to remove his or her effects from that nation to another country; it also authorizes a person to travel from country to country without being subject to arrest or detention because of the war. In maritime law, a passport is a document issued to a neutral vessel by its own government during a war that is carried on the voyage as evidence of the nationality of the vessel and as protection against the vessels of the warring nations. This paper is also labeled a pass, sea-pass, sealetter, or sea-brief. It usually contains the captain's or master's name and residence; the name, property, description, tonnage, and destination of the ship; the nature and quantity of the cargo; and the government under which it sails.
passporta document (for UK citizens issued by the Foreign Office) certifying the holder's nationality and citizenship. It suggests allegiance to the Crown, and thus is important in relation to the crime of TREASON.
PASSPORT, SEA BRIEF, or SEA LETTER, maritime law. A paper containing a
permission from the neutral state to the captain or master of a ship or
vessel to proceed on the voyage proposed; it usually contains his name and
residence; the name, property, description, tonnage and destination of the
ship; the nature and quantity of the cargo; the place from whence it comes,
and its destination; with such other matters as the practice of the place
2. This document is indispensably necessary in time of war for the safety of every neutral vessel. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 9, s. 6, p. 406, b.
3. In most countries of continental Europe passports are given to travellers; these are intended to protect them on their journey from all molestation, while they are obedient to the laws. Passports are also granted by the secretary of state to persons travelling abroad, certifying that they are citizens of the United States. 9 Pet. 692. Vide 1 Kent, Com. 162, 182; Merl. Repert. h.t.