The passport card is a valid federal ID primarily for travelers that visit Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean by land and sea. It is the size and shape of a driver’s license, and conveniently fits in your wallet. The passport card is valid only for certain types of international travel and cannot be used for international air travel. To apply for a new passport card, you will need to use one of the following procedures:

How to Get a Passport Card If You Already Have a US Passport

blankIf 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

However, before you apply for a new passport card, consider carefully whether or not you might be better off getting a US passport book. A US passport card can only be used for land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean. It can also be used for domestic air travel in the USA. It cannot be used to travel to any other countries, and it cannot be used for international air travel at all. A US passport book may be a little more expensive and bulkier, but it can be used to travel anywhere, by any means and is the recommended passport to carry.

How to Get a Passport Fast

Standard passport delivery is 6-8 weeks. If you need your passport fast, you can expedite your passport application. Fast, easy, and convenient, an expediting service like can help you with all the paperwork and will hand-deliver your passport application to the Department of State. Your new passport card could be on its way back to you in as little as 24 hours.