What is a passport card?
In the US, mainly, there are two types of passports available- Passport booklets and passport cards. Passport booklets are the conventional passports which are common all over the world. But passport card is a new entrant in this segment which is equally considered as a valid identity proof in the US. It can be used while travelling in and around the US. Main disadvantage of it is it does not have international validity. It is like a credit card in size and it is very easy to handle also. When it was introduced in 2008, people were literally carried away and almost 3 million passport cards were issued in a span of three years. The major draw back of passport card is it can be used while traveling by land and sea. Though it is not valid in international travel, it can be used to re-enter US from neighboring countries like Canada, Bermuda etc.
How to get a passport card:
The process of getting a passport card is to apply on a passport application form. Documentation formalities are as same as the normal passport is but the fee is comparatively less for passport cards.
Objective of introducing a passport card:
As we mentioned earlier part of the article that passport card is as valid as traditional passport in the US. Passport card is also issued by the US department of state in response to the demand raised by US citizens who frequent mainly inside the US. This innovative step was very much receptive in almost all states in the US. The main reason for its acceptance is its size and portability. It is very easy to keep it even inside the wallets. However, passport cards are not acceptable in air travel due to some security reasons. It can be renewed as a conventional passport by applying on passport renewal form before it gets expired.
Use of passport card:
• To improve the efficiency and safety of road transport
• Work as a solid ID proof while commuting on road.
• Its radio frequency identification chip and unique number will add the utility value of this passport card. Since it is attached to the official database, it protects the privacy of the passport card holder.
• Under the real ID act of the US, It is a valid ID proof for a US citizen to enter the federal buildings there.
Validity of Passport
In the US validity of passport (Booklet and card) is 10 years. It is 5 years for minors. Fee for passport card is less than conventional passport booklet is. However, A US citizen is free to have both passport booklet and passport card at a time. Passport Application form and passport renewal form are same for both passport book and card.
Whatever said and done most of the people in the US prefer passport booklets because of its international acceptance. Passport card is useful for a person who does not frequent to abroad especially by air. Bothe has pros and cons and both can be used effectively according to the passport holders’ convenience.
How to get a Passports in the US
What is a passport card?