What Is a Passport Card?

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Passport Card

The United States federal government is the one to issue a U.S. Passport Card in the size of a credit card, with travel limitations. It is often also useful as an identification card for other purposes other than international travel, such as domestic air travel. The Passport Card is only issued to U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals and can be used as proof of U.S. citizenship. It allows cardholders to travel within the United States and to enter and exit the US via land and sea between member states of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

What is the difference between a Passport Book and Card? 

The only difference between a U.S. passport book and passport card is that they are not valid for international air travel; they are only acceptable for land and sea border crossings between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.

However, both passport books and cards are valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children. Either passport can be used in lieu of the 2 documents you’re required to provide: Proof of citizenship such as birth certificate and proof of identification such as driver’s license or government-issued ID.

Why do I need a passport card? 

The passport card allows you to travel easily to and from nearby countries by land and sea. However, it can only be useful for international travel by land and sea. So, if you have an emergency where you have to travel by flight, it will not be valid and could leave you stranded. 

Because they are the same size as other identification cards, they can fit in your wallet for convenient carrying. They are good to have if you frequently travel between the U.S. and Mexico or Canada, allowing you to enter into the U.S. without having to carry around your passport book.

How much does it cost to get a passport card? 

The passport card is less expensive than a traditional passport book. Your first card will cost you $65 ($50 for children under 16) renewals cost $30. A traditional passport book costs $145; renewals cost $110

How long does it take to get a passport card? 

Standard service takes between 6 to 8 weeks to complete not counting mailing time. If you request and pay for expedited service, you’ll get the card in 2 to 3 weeks.