What is the Difference between Passport Book & Passport Card?

2,579 Views Updated: 30 Aug 2017
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What is the Difference between Passport Book & Passport Card?

We all know what passport books are and what their main purpose is. But do we know what a passport card means? What purpose do they serve? Let’s get to know!  Do you know how lucky United States citizens are?

Along with the usual and regular passport, they are also provided with a facility to use passport card ONLY if they plan to visit certain countries by using land or sea facility. It is noted that a passport card is generally bought at a low cost and can only be used for countries such as Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean islands. Whereas, the passport booklet allows citizens to travel anywhere in the world and for international visits, it is MANDATORY.

(Image Courtesy: Passport Blog)


A passport booklet imbibes the measurement 5"x3.5" when closed.  Also, it has many pages similar to passport details page which gives out holder’s name, date of birth, passport expiry date and more along with some blank pages for visa and immigration stamping.

A Passport card, on the contrary, looks much like a credit card that sits well in your wallets.


A passport has a validity of ten years for adults and five years for minors under the age of sixteen. While the book allows the citizens to travel anywhere across the globe, a passport card holder is allowed to travel within countries such as Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry. It does not allow citizens for air travel.


Your premier passport booklet would cost you around costs $135 for adults and $105 for minors under the age of 16 with $110 amount for renewal. Whereas, your premier passport card would cost you $55 for adults and $40 for minors under the age of 16. with a charge of $30 for renewal.

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

When Should You Carry Both?

Although, a passport card comes handy as it fits the wallet pretty well due to its amazing size and is also used as a valid ID, so it is beneficial to have it with you at all times. Yet, it is advisable to carry both the things while taking an international trip. You never know it might make your life easy!

(Image Courtesy: Global strategy project)

Since we all know how to acquire passport booklets, let’s learn how to get hold of a passport card.

You can apply by mail using Form DS-82 if you have a passport book or card that:

#1.    Can be submitted with your application
#2.    Is undamaged
#3.    Was issued when you were age 16 or older
#4.    Was issued within the last 15 years
#5.    Was issued in your current name (or you can document your name change with an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order)

If any of the above statements do not apply to you, you must apply in person using form DS-11.

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Posted by: Julianna Posts: (5) Opinions: (5) Points: 455 Rank: 359

The passport Book is a passport that we receive, if we have a desire to cross borders and the country that we desire to has got the requirement of Identification. You can use it, while traveling through land, water or air transport. In addition to this, we have passport card, this is a card which is used for only land and sea travel on the listed countries in italic on the card. One instance could be, if you want to travel to Jamaica, you’ll need a passport book. If your cruise departs from Florida but stops in Jamaica before returning to Florida, you’ll need your passport card. The Passport Book and the Passport Card are two different unique documents with unique number.


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