Search
Search & Choose State

How a Passport Card Differs From a Passport Book

Date posted: 08/10/2012

by Kat Saks on
in Drivers License & ID

4403 How a Passport Card Differs From a Passport Book

No two government ID documents are alike. While government-issued identification might seem to provide the same information, each ID has unique characteristics. Passport cards and passport books are no exception.

Learn more about how a passport card differs from a passport book.

Using Passport Books vs. Passport Cards

A passport book provides valid identification for any national or international travel. Your passport book allows you to travel by land, by sea, or by air.

A passport book provides valid identification for national travel, but only provides valid identification for certain types of international travel. You can use your U.S. passport card to travel from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda. You can only use the passport card for travel by land or by sea; you can’t use it for air travel.

Validity of Passport Books and Passport Cards

The U.S. passport book and the U.S. passport card share the same terms of validity:

  • Valid for 10 years for adults.
  • Valid for five years for minors under age 16.

Passport Books and Passport Cards: Size Matters

A passport book is bigger than a passport card. When closed, a U.S. passport measures 5 inches by 3.5 inches. A passport card fits in your wallet, making it a more convenient form of ID to carry on certain trips.

Paying for Passport Cards and Passport Books

When you apply for a passport card, you’ll spend less money than you would when applying for a passport book. Below is a brief cost breakdown of each option.

Passport Books

  • First-time adult applicant: $130
  • First-time minor applicant, younger than 16: $105
  • Adult passport book renewal: $110

Passport Cards

  • First-time adult applicant: $55
  • First-time minor applicant, younger than 16: $40
  • Adult passport book renewal: $30

When you apply for a passport book and a passport card at the same time, adults pay $165 and minors younger than 16 pay $120.

If your travel plans take you to a country bordering the U.S., a passport card can serve as a convenient, lower-cost form of identification. Consider using a passport card for your next border crossing by land or by sea.

Do you have a U.S. passport card? What do you like about it? Tell us in the comments section.

Was this information helpful?

Yes No

About Kat Saks

Kat Saks is a Denver-based writer and yoga teacher. She is also Firefly Partners' Client Solutions Manager. She blogs for DMV.org and shouts safe-driving tips to teens while driving the city streets. More articles by Kat Saks

Related articles

blog comments powered by Disqus