How to Apply for a Passport Card

By: Kat Saks August 10, 2012
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Crossing the U.S. border by land or by sea?

If your travels take you from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda, you might want to travel with a U.S. passport card. A passport card can provide a more convenient, cheaper alternative to carrying your passport book.

Read on to learn how you can apply for your passport card and lighten your load for your next journey.

Find a Passport Application Acceptance Facility Card

If you're applying for a passport card for the first time, you'll want to find a Passport Application Acceptance facility near you. Fortunately, the U.S. government maintains over 9,000 facilities for this purpose. It's easy to locate an acceptance facility near you

If you already have a passport or if you are renewing your passport card, you might be able to submit your application by mail. Check the U.S. government's travel website to learn more.

Complete Your Passport Card Application

In order to apply for your first passport card, you'll need the same documentation you need to apply for a passport book. If you already have a passport book, you might be able to apply for your very first passport card by mail.

In order to apply for a passport book by mail, your current passport must meet the following requirements:

  • Undamaged.
  • Able to be submitted as part of your application.
  • Issued when you were 16 years old or older.
  • Issued within the last 15 years.
  • Issued in your current name, or you can legally document your name change along with your application.

Learn more about the passport card application process by visiting the U.S government's travel website.

Pay Your Passport Card Application Fee

Passport card application fees vary. Here's a breakdown of the potential costs:

  • First-time adult applicant: $55
  • First-time minor applicant, younger than 16: $40
  • Adult passport book renewal: $30
  • Execution fee: $35

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

Save Yourself Hassle With Expedited Passport Services

If you don't have the time or patience for applying for your U.S. passport card on your own, an expedited passport service can help. For a small fee, these third-party vendors help ease your application process and get you your new passport card as quickly as possible. Consider seeking the help of these professionals the next time you need a passport card or passport book.

Have you ever applied for a passport card? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

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