Is A U.S. Passport Card Appropriate For Your Travel Plans?

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The US State Department is now offering the relatively new USA Passport card. Also called the PassCard, it was created for the convenience of Americans who travel to certain North American countries. What do you need to know about this card? Is it truly more convenient? Find out if the PassCard is right for you.

The card identifies a person as a US citizen and is a special alternative to the traditional passport booklet. It can be applied during travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean, but only when commuting by land or sea. It is not a valid method of identification for air travel, and cannot be used in travel to or from any other countries.

People who frequently cross borders for work or play may find several advantages in the passport card. The greatest purpose for the card is to benefit the population of Americans that live in border towns. It is the size of a credit card, so it easily fits in your wallet, and the price is lower than the booklet. It is also believed that these cards will decrease the wait times at the border.

There are certain security features involved to protect the PassCard from counterfeiting. The RFID chip helps the security process at the border, but there is no personal identification information held within the chip. The U S passport booklet and many credit and debit cards also have the same kind of chip. For those who feel that it is necessary, a sleeve is given with the card that blocks transfer of information.

Many people that choose the PassCard are attracted to the price. Compare the forty five dollar passport card to the one hundred dollar cost of the traditional booklet. Both are valid for the same amount of time. For those under the age of sixteen, a passport is valid for ten years. It needs to be renewed after five years for children under sixteen years of age.

The process for getting a PassCard is the same as the passport booklet. If you have never owned a passport, you will need to find a passport facility and appear in person. Bring with you a form of identification and your naturalization papers or birth certificate as proof of US citizenship. Your proof of citizenship and two 2x2 pictures will be sent for processing with your application. Your birth certificate will be included in the mail with your new PassCard.

If you already have a passport there is no need to find a facility, the application can be sent by mail. You will still need to send proof of citizenship, but your passport can be used for this purpose. It will be returned to you in the mail with your card. You also have the option to renew your passport booklet and attain a new PassCard at the same time.

For some people, there are a number of benefits to the U.S. passport card. The credit card size makes it easy to carry during travel and the low price is convenient for those on a budget. The American passport card made is the right fit for you. There are many online sources to help you in the simple application process.

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