*The passport fees have recently changed. As of April 2nd, 2018, the passport acceptance fee has gone up from $25 to $35.


A Colorado woman’s passport application mistake provides a stark reminder of the importance of having the correct documents when you travel. According to 9News.com, when Lara Marxhausen went to apply for passports for herself and her family for an upcoming trip to Mexico, the post office clerk suggested she save money by getting a passport card instead.

Passport cards are significantly cheaper. If you’re an adult who has never had a passport before, you’ll pay only $55 if you apply for a passport card, compared to $135 if you apply for a full-sized passport.

Unfortunately, passport cards cannot be used for air travel. They are only good for land and sea travel to and from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean. The post office clerk apparently failed to mention this limitation to Ms. Marxhausen. So, when the Marxhausen family went to the airport to catch their flight to Mexico, they were turned away.

Marxhausen told 9News, “I know the burden of proof or the burden of making sure I had the right things does fall upon on me. But I feel I asked for help in this system and was led down an erroneous path.”

To make sure you don’t end up on an erroneous path, read Passports vs. Passport Cards to help clarify the differences between the two documents.

If you end up stranded with a passport card when you need a passport, you do have a couple of options that could potentially save your vacation, or at least part of it, depending on when you catch the error.

One option is to make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency office. As long as your flight leaves in 2 weeks or less and you still need a passport, you can make an appointment at one of these facilities to get an emergency passport. Unfortunately, there are only 21 passport agency offices in the country and they have somewhat limited hours of operation, so you may have a hard time fitting an appointment into your schedule.

The second option is to use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport. Here’s how it works-you send us your passport application, and we’ll personally deliver it to the Department of State, for processing times as quick as 24 hours.

Submit your passport application with us today!