When you apply for a new passport, should you get a passport book or passport card? One family learned the difference the hard way.  Sherry Housley and her daughter Whitney  had planned to to take a mother/daughter vacation by the ocean in Cozumel, Mexico.

However, when they went to apply for new passports, the clerk steered them toward ordering one of the wallet-sized new passport cards. Apparently, neither the clerk nor the Housleys was aware of one of the crucial differences between a passport book and a passport card:  A  passport card is only good for travel by land and sea, not by plane. So, when the Housleys tried to board the plane for Mexico, they were not allowed on board and they missed their vacation.

The passport book is only type of passport that is accepted for international air travel. The passport card was really meant to be a cheaper form of identification for people who live near the border and drive across frequently, to make it easier for them to comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that requires passports for border crossings.

Unless you drive across the border frequently,  go ahead and spring for a full-fledged passport book when you apply for a new passport.  Also, make sure to allow enough time for your passport to arrive-it can take at least 6 weeks with regular service and 3 weeks for the government’s expedited service.

However, a private passport expediting company can speed this process up by personally dropping off your passport application at the Department of State. With an expediting company, depending on the package you buy, your new passport could be on its way back to you in as little as 24 hours!

Apply for your new passport today!