Looking for an easy way to carry your passport? Request a Passport Card. You can have your passport conveniently and safely tucked in your wallet, this is called the passport card. This has the same size as your driver’s license and is used when traveling by land or sea to certain countries such as Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It is also considered a valid identification document in the US for citizens who are too young to have a driver’s license. Aside from the size, a passport book and a passport card difference is that the latter cannot be used when traveling abroad via air, the passport book is required.
The passport book and the passport card have the same validity which is 10 years (for children 15 years old or younger, the validity is only 5 years). You have the freedom to choose which one you wish to have to depend on the country you are planning to travel to; you can have both, you can have either one. Below are the FAQs regarding passport cards.
Eligibility for Passport Card
Neither do you need to have a current valid passport book not to have been previously been issued one to apply for a passport card, all US citizens are qualified.
Comprehensive Guide for Passport Card Application
Collect all requirements
Requirements may vary depending on if you are already a holder of a valid passport book. The following are possible situations when applying for a passport book.
- If you are a holder of a current valid passport book
- If you have never been issued a passport
- Applying for both passport book and passport card (both for adults and minors)
- Applying for a passport card while renewing your passport book (for adults age 16 and above)
Requirements for Passport Card Application (with valid Passport Book)
- Your actual passport book
- Passport Application Form DS-82 which is completely filled out, printed and signed.
- 1 passport photo (must be different from the picture you have in your passport book)
- Front and back photocopy of your driver’s license or any state-issued ID
- Passport card fee – check made payable to the “US Department of State” with a value of $30 (additional $60 for expedited services )
- For expedited passport card application, flight plan or itinerary is required as well as this contains the details why you need your passport fast
Requirements for Card Application (non-holder of US citizen passport)
- Certified or long form copy of birth certificate
- New Passport Application form (DS-11) should be completely filled out at https://pptform.state.gov/, printed and signed. You must clarify which one are you applying for, either passport card, passport book or both.
- One passport photo
- Front and back photocopy of state-issued ID. Minors under 16 are required to submit both parents’ driver’s license or other state-issued Ids.
- For expedited passport card service, flight itinerary or travel plan must be presented to prove that you need your passport card ASAP.
- Two checks for your passport card fee, one made payable to the Passport Acceptance Agent with a value of $25 and the other one made payable to the US Department of State (additional $60 is required if you plan to avail of the expedited services.
You have to personally visit and hand-carry your application to the nearest Passport Acceptance Agent in your area and have them review and seal it in the official envelope. This must be done before proceeding to the next steps.
For minors (age 15 and below), both parents must accompany the child to the Passport Acceptance Agent. However, some require calling in first to make an appointment. Passport Acceptance Agents can be found at major post offices or Clerk of Court offices.
You can have Your Passport Card processed in one of the following ways:
- By mail – you can send your passport card application by mail to the National Passport Center
- Via Passport Agency – for expedited services, you can visit a Passport Agency personally
- Via Passport Expediting Company – if you immediately need your passport card, then, a reputable and reliable passport expediting company will definitely help you get your passport card for as fast as 24 hours.
How to Get a Passport Card Fast
- By mail – regular or standard processing time including delivery via mail can take up to 8 weeks.
- Via Expedited service – with an additional government fee of $60 for the expedited fee, expect your passport card in 2-3 weeks time. For those who will renew their old passports and apply for a passport card, this may come in separate envelopes and may not come in the mail at the same time. Passport cards that are delivered by mail are always shipped to where you are via First Class mail.
- Via Passport Expediting Company – this is the fastest and the most convenient option. You no longer have to stand on long lines. Passport Expediting companies can get your passport card in 24 hours upon submission of requirements. There are around 26 Passport Agencies scattered within the city, you have to make an appointment prior to dropping by the nearest one in your area. You just have to find a reputable and trustworthy one to make sure that the process is being followed.