The passport card facilitates entry and expedites document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The passport card may not be used for international travel by air. Otherwise, it carries the rights and privileges of the U.S. passport book and is adjudicated to the exact same standards.
When outside the United States and the above mentioned countries, the passport card can be used as a valid citizenship identification, though it is not valid for travel internationally (for example traveling from Germany to Switzerland/Austria/France/etc.)
How to Apply
You may apply for the card by mail using Form DS-82 if you have a passport book or a passport card that:
- Can be submitted with your application
- Is undamaged (other than normal “wear and tear”)
- Was issued when you were age 16 or older
- Was issued within the last 15 years
- Was issued in your current name (or you can document your name change with an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order)
If you have never had a U.S. passport book or card, or are not eligible to use Form DS-82, you must apply in person using Form DS-11. You can apply for both a passport book and passport card at the same time using one form. Simply check the appropriate box at the top of the form to indicate that you would like to apply for both products and pay both passport book and passport card fees. Please see Passport services for more information.
The average processing time for a Passport Card is between 4 and 6 weeks.
The application fee for first time adult (over 16) applicants is $55.00; for a previous passport/passport card holder the fee is $30.00 and $40.00 for all minors under the age of 16.
The Department of State is issuing this passport card in response to the needs of border resident communities for a less expensive and more portable alternative to the traditional passport book. The card has the same period of validity as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five for children 15 and younger. Adults who already have a fully valid passport book may apply for the card as a passport renewal
To facilitate the frequent travel of U.S. citizens living in border communities and to meet DHS’s operational needs at land borders, the passport card contains a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. There is no personal information written to the RFID chip itself.