You are undoubtedly well aware that, regardless of where you want to go, you need to have a passport that is valid if you are planning a vacation abroad.
You might be shocked to find that the US State Department actually issues two different types of passports: a passport book and a passport card.
Before deciding which one to apply for, you should be informed of the many differences between a passport card and a passport book.
Your choice may be influenced by the cost of the document, your intended destination, and how frequently you plan to travel.
It will be easier for you to decide whether or not you need a passport card if you are aware of the differences between them.
In what ways do passport books and cards differ from one another? For more information, keep reading.
What Is A Passport? Passport Card And Passport Book
The US Department of State has chosen to sell passport cards as a kind of travel document starting in 2008. With the card, you’ll be able to visit more than a dozen Caribbean Island countries as well as Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and more via land or sea.
Passport cards are only accepted for travel by land and water; they cannot be used for air travel. Additionally, they won’t let you visit any foreign countries. Because of this, most nations do not recognize passport cards.
The card is relatively modest in size. It fits into a typical card slot on a wallet. The travel document will contain information about your true identity, birthdate, issue and non-renewal dates, place of birth, picture, and signature.
Usually, the cards are valid for the same amount of time as passports.
A Passport Book: What Is It?
Anyone who wants to travel internationally by land, sea, or air is given a passport book. Both US citizens and non-citizens can purchase the book.
The validity of passport books varies depending on the type of document.
There will be various pages in passport books. Your full name, birthplace, date of birth, gender, nationality, the date your passport was issued, its expiration date, and a photo will all be included in the first document.
The remaining pages are blank since they are meant to be filled by stamps from immigration authorities and visas.
The passport book generally has 28 pages, but if you frequently travel abroad, you can request a 52-page version.
The distinctions between a passport book and a passport card.
A passport card’s main contrast from a passport book is that the former cannot be used to travel internationally or by air. Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean are the only places where you can travel on land and across maritime boundaries using a card. As a result, it is highly restrictive in that it prevents you from traveling to other nations or flying to another continent.
Additionally, the card cannot be used on a cruise from an international homeport save from roundtrip cruises from Puerto Rico and San Juan.
A passport book will enable you to travel by air and to more nations in the interim. For people who desire to travel more, it is a better option.
The two documents can be found in a variety of formats as well. The passport book will be a booklet with different pages for coupons and visas, whilst the card will be a little card that you may keep in your wallet.
Important distinctions between passport books and cards
Here are some significant distinctions between passport cards and books:
The cost of passport cards and books varies. Generally, all first-time applicants must pay a $35 acceptance fee, regardless of the type of supporting documentation. This expense will be included in the cost.
The more expensive papers are passport books. For first-time applicants, a child’s passport costs $135 and an adult’s passport costs $165. Children will pay $50 and adults will pay $65 for a passport card at the same time.
The card and book passports will both lower acceptance fees for renewals. Adult passport cards must be renewed for $30, while adult passport books must be renewed for $130.
Dimensions and Format
There are many different sizes and shapes for passport cards and books. Cards are incredibly easy to pack because they are the same size as a credit card or a driver’s license.
On the other hand, passport books are larger and are available in 3.5 by 5 inch booklet style. The owner’s information is on the first page; all other pages are blank.
3. Destinations for Travel
There are no travel restrictions in the passport book regarding the places you can visit. It allows you to travel anyplace.
However, only the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico, and Canada are offered as destinations for passport cards. They can only be utilized across a land border or a port of entry.
4. The Border Entry Process
While passport books are valid for all aspects of foreign country admission, passport cards are only valid for land and marine borders. You can therefore enter countries by land, air, and sea using books.
How to Select a Passport Book vs. a Passport Card
Making a decision between a passport card and a passport book can be challenging, especially when taking into account their functional variations, price ranges, and length of the application procedure.
Consider your travel needs and the destinations you want to visit most frequently in the upcoming years before choosing which one to apply for.
When to Purchase Both
Having a passport in both card and book form can be quite helpful in various situations. Additionally, a single application can be used to apply for both of them.
You should consider both if you travel by land and air. If you want a more portable document and are traveling by car to Mexico or Canada, it can be quite helpful.
Additionally, if you lack a legitimate ID, which is necessary for domestic flight travel, the two can help you. American passports are acceptable as substitutes for authentic identification. The passport card can therefore be used if you need to fly but lack a Real ID, whereas the book can be used for foreign travel.
Keep in mind that submitting an application for both will save you $35 because you will only have to pay one acceptance fee as opposed to two.
Comparing a passport card and a passport book.
The biggest resemblance between a passport book and card is that both are valid for adult nationals for ten years after the date of issue. Both types of passports are also valid for 5 years for those under the age of 16.
These passport kinds also process and approve in around the same period of time, which is another similarity. The waiting period after filing an application is four to six weeks for both a passport book and a passport card.
Can I Cruise With My Passport Card?
If you’re on a “closed loop” ship, you can use a passport card on a cruise. These are cruises that depart from the United States round-trip despite making stops in international ports. However, under these circumstances, you are able to use another form of identification in place of a passport document, such as a birth certificate and evidence of citizenship.
It is advisable to travel with a passport book even if you are on a “closed loop” cruise in case you need to disembark abruptly on foreign ground. In an emergency, if your sole form of identification is a passport card, you risk having trouble getting back into the US.
Questions and Answers
Are the passport card and book required?
Although you can submit a single application for the book and card, doing so is not necessary.
Which book or card is the greatest passport?
The only valid document for international flight travel is the passport book.
What advantages does a passport card have?
The passport card is recognized as identification for domestic flights by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Can a passport card get me on a plane to Mexico?
The U.S. Passport Card is more practical and less expensive than a passport book and can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or maritime ports-of-entry.
If I have a passport card, do I still need a genuine ID?
For domestic flights, a passport card can be used as identification. It is ineligible for usage on overseas flights. the same size as a driver’s license or card for a legal permanent residence, fits in your wallet.
You should carefully evaluate whether you should apply for a passport book, card, or both because passport cards and books have different features and capabilities.
Hopefully, this article has helped you and made your decision-making process clearer.