What is a Passport Card? Know the Correct Essentials Right Away

A passport card is one of the most relieving and inexpensive things to keep in handy for validating your personal identification, especially when you are traveling to the United States. The inception of the passport card happened in the year 2008 and since then it can be fortunately used in replacement of a passport bookor a driver’s license. Being a passport cardholder permits you to enter both land and sea points in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean without any unnecessary harassments pertaining to identification troubles in a foreign land. However, when you ask me, do I need a passport card for traveling on flights[i]? I would say a NO!

That’s right. Passport cards are not sufficient enough to give you a backup for passport book while traveling on flights. Nevertheless, passport cards can be merrier if you are planning for a road trip to Canada or Mexico from the US with passport cards in Canada[ii]. Post the 9/11 tragedy, the U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security formulated this concept of what we know today as a passport card. To this day, this is an initiative of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

Using a standardized form for passport card application one can hitch a passport card in person. What is important to keep here in mind is that to do so there are only a few accepted locations that you have to have a pre-knowledge of. Along with this, there is also a necessity of providing substantial personal identification information (originals, of course).

Who Can Apply?

Few guiding factors state out the most applicable set of people who can apply for a passport card:

  • Passport cards can be the most authentic and convenient option for frequent travelers to the Mexican or Canadian border by car or train.
  • For approving travel conveniences of the minor members of a family, (who are yet too young to get a driver’s license) passport cards can come out as really helpful with the fortunate avert ion of going through any state-issued identification system.
  • For the people who do not drive yet wants to have a card-sized identity document, can leverage the option of passport cards.
  • Passport cards are also very much applicable for sailors and yachtsmen who sail in international waters between the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean[iii]. Although this same option is not recommended for cruise passengers since the law does not act the equal way in this case. Cruise passengers must, conformingly should have a passport book.

Why Should You Opt For a Passport Card?

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Before plunging straight into applying for a passport card, it is always recommended to have a detailed knowledge of the benefits you are going to extract from having it:

The Expedient Factor

Convenience is one of the prior reasons to carry a passport card. Along being easier to carry it as any of your debit or credit cards, it is also easy to get one.


Passport cards also save you from having a pocket crunch. They are far less expensive than passport books with a differing amount of almost $70 between both of them.

Land Or Sea; Which One Do You Prefer?

Passport cards can be easily and flexibly used for land or sea traveling to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean from the US.

Easy Identification System for Minors

Passport cards stand out to be the most amazing and convenient option for official identification of the children and the non-drivers.

Thus the next time you suffer through this confusion of having an ugly fix between passport cards vs. passport books, you, fortunately, know which one to choose! Keeping all the benefits in mind, you ensure that choosing passport cards will definitely not be a bad option at all.




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