A US passport card is a travel document issued by the United States government to its citizens for the purpose of international travel to certain countries. It is a wallet-sized card that is more convenient and cheaper than a traditional passport book but has some limitations.
The card is valid for travel by land or sea to Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada and Bermuda but cannot be used for international air travel. The US passport card was first introduced in 2008 as an alternative to the traditional passport book and has since become a popular choice for frequent travelers who need to cross the border frequently for work or leisure.
However, it is important to note that the US passport card cannot be used for international air travel. For this, travelers must use a traditional passport book. Additionally, the passport card is only accepted by some countries and can only be used for travel to those listed above.
Keep on reading to know more about US passport cards.
When can I use a passport book vs a passport card?
Depending on your travel needs and destination, you can use a passport or a passport card.
A passport book is required for international air travel and can also be used for land and sea travel to any country. It is recommended for travelers who frequently travel internationally by air or who may need to travel to countries that require a traditional passport for entry.
On the other hand a passport card is limited to land and sea travel only. It can only be used for travel to certain countries including Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda. It is smaller and more convenient than a passport book making it a good option for frequent travelers who cross the border by land or sea and do not need to travel internationally by air.
It is important to note that not all countries accept the passport card for entry, and some countries may require a traditional passport book. Also the passport card cannot be used for international air travel so travelers who need to fly internationally must have a passport book.
How long does it take to get the passport card?
The processing time for a US passport card depends on several factors including the time of year, the location where the application is submitted and the type of service requested. Generally the processing time for a US passport card is similar to that of a traditional passport book.
If you apply for a passport card using regular processing which is the standard service, the processing time is estimated to take around 10 to 12 weeks. However, during peak travel seasons or if there is an increase in application volume, the processing time may take longer.
For those who require expedited service, which is available for an additional fee, the processing time for a passport card is usually around 4 to 6 weeks. In some cases, expedited service may take longer if there are issues with the application or additional processing is required.
It is important to note that these processing times are estimates and are subject to change. Therefore, it is recommended that you apply for your passport card well before your travel plans to allow enough time for processing and avoid any potential delays.
The passport card is valid up to?
The validity of a US passport card depends on the age of the passport holder at the time of issuance.
For adults, defined as anyone age 16 or older a passport card is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. For minors, defined as anyone under age 16 the passport card is valid for 5 years from the date of issue.
It is important to note that the expiration date of a passport card differs from the validity period for travel purposes. The validity period for travel is based on the date of issuance and the specific travel requirements of the destination country.
What are the requirements for applying for US passport card?
A US passport card is a convenient and cheaper alternative to a traditional passport book for US citizens who frequently travel to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda by land or sea. To apply for a US passport card several requirements must be met.
The following are the requirements for applying for a US passport card:
Proof of US citizenship: Provide evidence of US citizenship such as a birth certificate or previous passport.
Government-issued photo ID: Present a valid government-issued photo ID to confirm your identity.
Completed DS-11 form: Fill out the DS-11 application form either online or in person.
Recent color passport photos: Provide a recent passport photo that meets specific requirements.
Payment of applicable fees: Pay the fee for the passport card based on age and service requested.
Proof of travel plans: Provide proof of travel plans if expedited service is required.
Apply in person at a designated acceptance facility: Apply for the passport card in person at a designated facility such as a post office or library.