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US Passport Card Applications Now Available Online

Until yesterday, it was impossible to apply for a US passport exclusively online. Sure, there are application forms and other resources available to get the ball rolling, but you had to use snail mail to send in the application. Now, if you already have a passport and would like a passport card as well, you can take advantage of a new online application procedure that allows you to send off for the card without entering a post office or even licking an envelope. This option may not be around forever- at the moment, it is part of a 90-day pilot program being conducted by the Department of State.  According to a State Department press release, "This pilot program is the Department’s signature initiative under Presidential Executive Order 13571 to simplify customer service interactions


Passport Application Mistake Ruins Family’s Trip

A Colorado woman's passport application mistake provides a stark reminder of the importance of having the correct documents when you travel. According to, 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. Marxha


New Passport Book or Passport Card: A Family Learns the Hard Way

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 int


How To Apply For A New Passport Card

The passport card is a new  type of identification that is designed to be easy to carry in your wallet. It is the size and shape of a driver's license, but is valid only for certain types of international travel. To apply for a new passport card, you will need to use one of the following procedures: 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 whe


Can You Expedite a Passport Card?

Update: The US passport card can now be expedited by mail through the US Department of State, with emergency processing available through some (but not all) regional passport agencies.  'On June 1st, 2009, the rules governing travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean will change. Currently, only air travelers need a passport to re-enter the United States-land and sea travelers can use a photo ID (like a driver's license), and proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate). In just a few short weeks, land and sea travelers will also be required to show a passport. To make it easier for frequent travelers to carry the appropriate travel documents, the government has introduced a cheaper, wallet-sized passport card. Please note that the passport card is