Did you know that you can request to be issued a passport card along with your passport renewal? That’s right. It’s as easy as checking a box on your passport renewal application to indicate you want a passport card along with your passport book.
Passport cards have been an option for US citizens since 2008, but they are still not as well known or well understood as the traditional passport books. Today, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about passport cards and show you how you can get a passport card along with your next passport renewal.
What is a Passport Card?
A passport card is a card the size of a driver’s license that is issued by the US State Department. Like a passport book, it proves your identity and US citizenship. They are valid for ten years for adults, and five years for children age 15 and younger.
How Can a Passport Card Be Used?
Passport cards can be used for any identification purpose inside the United States, such as job applications, buying alcohol, or checking in to a doctor’s office or hospital. Most importantly, your passport card is an official form of REAL ID. The REAL ID Act of 2005 set federal standards for identification cards. When it is fully implemented, you’ll need to show federally-approved ID to enter government buildings or to go through TSA security at the airport. Not all driver’s licenses meet REAL ID standards, but your passport card will always be accepted as official identification for domestic air travel.
Although the passport card is great for flying inside the US — especially for children, who are too young to have driver’s licenses — it is not valid for any international air travel. You’ll need a passport book any time you are flying to a destination outside the United States.
Passport cards can be used for land and sea travel between the US and Mexico, Canada, and certain Caribbean nations. It’s perfect for people who frequently drive to Canada or Mexico, since it fits conveniently in your wallet!
Requirements to Get a Passport Card With Your Passport Renewal
If you want to get a card along with your next passport renewal, make note of the following requirements:
- Passport Application Form DS-82. When you fill out your passport renewal application form online, you’ll come to a page called “Passport Products and Fees.” On that page, make sure to select that you want both a passport book and card. On the printed version of the application, this option appears at the very top of the first page of the application.
- Government Passport Fees. Your passport card will cost an additional $30. When applying for expedited passport renewal service through G3passports.com, your government fee for both a passport book renewal and passport card will be $200.
- One Photograph. You only need to submit one photograph with your application for a passport renewal and passport card. Your photo will be scanned and printed onto both the book and the card.
When Will I Get My Passport Card?
The US State Department doesn’t always provide the same type of expedited processing for passport cards as they do for passport books. When you apply for your passport renewal through G3, your passport book will be processed and returned to you within the time frame that you have selected. However, your new passport card may take longer to be issued, and will be sent to you under separate cover.
Can I Renew a Passport Card?
Yes, passport cards can be renewed just like passport books! If you get a passport book and card at the same time, they will expire at the same time. You’ll need to submit both documents when you do your next renewal. Your old passport card will be marked cancelled by having one corner clipped off. Your old card and your old book will both be returned to you.
Any other questions? Ask us in the comments!