The passport card serves as a legitimate federal ID mainly intended for travelers visiting Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean via land and sea routes. Resembling the size and shape of a driver’s license, it conveniently fits into your wallet. Please note that the passport card is applicable for specific types of international travel and cannot be utilized for air travel. To obtain a new passport card, you will need to follow one of the following application procedures:
How to Get a Passport Card If You Already Have a US Passport
If you already have a US passport, you may be able to apply for a new passport card using passport renewal form DS-82. To use this option, your current US passport must be undamaged and in your possession. Also, it must be less than 15 years since it was issued, and if your name has changed in the interim, you need official documentation of the name change. Finally, in order to apply for a passport card by mail, your passport must have been issued when you were 16 or older. If you are eligible to apply by mail, fill out the form and send it in along with:
- Your passport
- Legal proof of any name change, if applicable
- One recent passport photo
- A check or money order for the government fee
If you don’t have a passport already or are otherwise ineligible to apply by mail, you’ll need to do the following:
How to Get a Passport Card for the First Time
- Fill out form DS-11, Application for a New Passport.
- Pay the fees: a $30 application fee and a $35 execution fee if you are over 16, and a $15 application fee and a $35 execution fee if you are under 16.
- Submit passport photo.
- Submit proof of identification and proof of citizenship.
- Visit Passport Acceptance Facility for adjudication of your documents.
The Importance of Traveling with a Passport
Before applying for a new passport card, it is crucial to weigh the advantages of obtaining a US passport book as well. While the US passport card is suitable for land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean, it has limitations. It can be utilized for domestic air travel within the USA, but it cannot be used for international air travel to any other country.
In times of crisis or urgent situations, international travel plans may need to be altered or adjusted quickly. Having a passport book allows you to navigate various scenarios with more flexibility. It enables you to travel to any country in the world, regardless of the mode of transportation, whether it’s by land, sea, or air.
Having a passport book as a part of your travel documentation ensures that you are prepared for any unforeseen circumstances and can swiftly respond to emergencies, providing you with the necessary access and support when you need it most.
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