A US passport card is a wallet-sized document that serves as a valid form of identification and travel document for US citizens. It can be used for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda. However, it cannot be used for international air travel.
If you're planning to travel outside of the US and wondering what travel documents you need then you should keep reading. In this article, we'll guide you through everything you need to know about the US passport card including its uses, limitations, application process and more. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of whether a passport card is the right travel document for your needs. So, let's get started!
What documents do I need to submit for US passport card?
To obtain a US passport card you will need to submit several documents that prove your citizenship, identity and eligibility. Here is a list of documents that are typically required:
Completed Form DS-11
Proof of US citizenship such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate
Government-issued photo identification such as a driver's license or state ID
A recent passport photo that meets the requirements
Payment for the applicable fee
It's important to note that additional documents may be required for certain situations such as if you have a previous passport that was lost or stolen or if you are applying on behalf of a minor. Make sure to check the requirements carefully before submitting your application to avoid delays or rejections.
First time US passport card applicants
If you're a first-time applicant for a US passport card it's important to be aware of the specific requirements and steps you need to take to complete the application process. This includes submitting certain documents and providing evidence of your identity and citizenship. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Apply in person: First-time applicants must submit their application in person at a passport agency or authorized facility.
Provide evidence of citizenship: This can be a certified birth certificate, a naturalization certificate or a previously issued passport.
Provide proof of identity: This can be a driver's license, state ID, military ID or other government-issued photo ID.
Submit a recent passport photo: The photo must meet the requirements for a passport photo.
Pay the applicable fee: A first-time passport card application fee is $30.
Show parental consent (if under 16): If the applicant is under 16 both parents or legal guardians must provide written consent for the passport card application.
Provide a social security number: This is required on the application form.
US passport card fees
The fee for a US passport card depends on whether you're applying for the first time or renewing an existing passport card. Here are the current fees:
First-time adult applicants (age 16 and older): $30
First-time child applicants (under age 16): $15
Renewal for adult passport card holders: $30
Replacement for lost, stolen or damaged passport card: $30
It's important to note that these fees are subject to change and additional fees may apply for expedited processing or other special services. Make sure to check the latest fees and payment options on the official website of the US Department of State before submitting your application.
What is the process time for US passport card?
The processing time for a US passport card depends on several factors including the time of year, the volume of applications and whether you request expedited service. Generally, the processing time for a routine application (without expedited service) is about 4-6 weeks from the time of application submission.
If you need your passport card sooner you can request expedited service for an additional fee. With expedited service the processing time is generally 2-3 weeks from the time of application submission. However, remember that expedited service is unavailable for all applicants or situations.
It's important to plan ahead and apply for your passport card well before your travel plans to allow for processing time and any unexpected delays.
How long is a US passport card valid for?
A US passport card is valid for 10 years for adults (age 16 and older) and 5 years for children (under age 16). After the expiration date you will need to renew your passport card if you plan to continue using it for travel purposes.
It's important to note that the expiration date on your passport card does not necessarily reflect how long you can use it for travel. Some countries require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned departure date. It's always a good idea to check the entry requirements for your destination country before you travel and to renew your passport card well in advance of its expiration date.