Last Updated March 2011
The passport card is the wallet-size travel document that can only be used to re-enter the United States at land border-crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. The card provides a less expensive, smaller, and convenient alternative to the passport book for those who travel frequently to these destinations by land or by sea.
The passport card was designed for the specific needs of northern and southern U.S. border communities with residents that cross the border frequently by land. The passport book is the only document approved for international travel by air.
See the Department of Homeland Security's www.GetYouHome.gov
Yes, the passport card has a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip.
There is no personal information written on the electronic chip itself. The chip contains a unique number which identifies a stored record within secure government databases.
Laser engraving and state-of-the-art security features minimize the possibility of counterfeiting and forgery. The card is issued with a protective sleeve that prevents the card from being read when not in use.
We have taken every care to ensure that the passport card is as secure as current technology permits.
Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID) has been used successfully along our land borders with Canada and Mexico since 1995 in the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Programs, such as NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST. RFID technology has been commercially available since the 1970s. It can be found in car keys, highway toll tags, bank cards and security access cards.
We began production of the U.S. Passport Card on July 14, 2008. As of March 2010, more than 2,700,000 Passport Cards have been issued to U.S. citizens.
First time applicants can apply at any one of our 9,400 Passport Application Acceptance Facilities across the country. Locate an acceptance facility near you and submit your application today!
Yes, simply check the appropriate box at the top of the form to indicate that you would like to apply for both products.
If you already have a passport book and are eligible to use Form DS-82, you may apply for your new passport card by mail using Form DS-82. You may renew your passport book at the same time using the same form.
The passport card is adjudicated to the same standards as the passport book. You must provide documents that establish your U.S. citizenship and identity.
Our fees reflect the cost of providing passport services to the American public. Per regulation, the Department of State employs an independent consultant to conduct periodic and regular cost of service studies to determine the cost of providing consular services.
See Application Processing Times. The processing time for the passport card is the same as for the passport book.
The same one photo requirement for the passport book is true for the passport card.
Only one photo is required.