"Did you know that on June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens must present a passport book, passport card, or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government to leave or enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at all points of entry? If unaware of this policy change you are probably like many American citizens that may get caught off guard while preparing to board an airplane or ship for vacation this year."
From personal experience it can take up to six weeks to get a passport - -and that is if you already have a certified birth certificate. Those (with the raised seal - not a photocopy) can take a month or more to obtain. If you are planning on leaving the country at all, go ahead and get the ball rolling on getting your passport.