Passport Book vs. Passport Card

Passport Book
Passport Card

In addition to a regular passport, (the Passport book), U.S. citizens have the option of using a smaller, lighter passport card but only if they are traveling by land or sea to certain countries. A passport card is cheaper to get but is only valid for travel to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean islands. The passport book is valid for travel anywhere and is required for international air travel.

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Passport Book

Passport Card

Validity International travel by air, sea or land International travel by land and sea only. Valid for travel. Not valid for international travel by air.
Duration of validity 10 years for adults, 5 years for minors under 16 10 years for adults, 5 years for minors under 16
Size 5’’ x 3.5’’ when closed Wallet-sized
Cost for first time applicants $135 for adults, $105 for under 16s $55 for adults, $40 for under 16s
Cost for renewal $110 for adults $30 for adults
Globally recognized travel document Yes No
Useful for International travel Those who live in border communities in the US.
Processing time 4-6 weeks; 2 weeks expedited 4-6 weeks; 2 weeks expedited

Contents: Passport Book vs Passport Card

edit Appearance

A passport book measures 5"x3.5" when closed. It contains several pages like the passport details page which provides the holder's name,date of birth, passport expiry date etc as well as other blank pages for visa and immigration stamping.

A passport card is a portable pocket sized card (similar to a credit card) that fits in your wallet.

A driver displays Passport Card at the border
A driver displays Passport Card at the border
A passport book displaying the passport details page
A passport book displaying the passport details page

edit Validity

A passport book is valid for any international travel by air, sea or land. It is valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for minors under 16.

A passport card is valid for travel to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry. It is not valid for air travel. It is valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for minors under 16.

edit Cost

A first passport book costs $135 for adults and $105 for minors under the age of 16. It costs $110 to renew.

A first passport card costs $55 for adults and $40 for minors under the age of 16. It costs $30 to renew.

The cost when applying for both is $165 for adults and $120 for minors.

edit How to apply

The forms and instructions for applying for a passport are available at travel.state.gov. The following video provides some guidelines on how to apply for a passport book and card:

edit References

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