Difference between passport book and card

Passports are essential documents that allow people to travel across borders. They are issued by the government of the country of origin to their citizens to identify themselves as they travel abroad. Passport books and passport cards are two types of passports that people can use. However, many people are not aware of the differences between these two documents.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between passport books and passport cards, their uses, and their limitations. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of which passport document is suitable for your travel needs.

What is a Passport Book?

A passport book is the traditional and most common form of a passport. It is a small booklet that contains personal identification details, including a photograph, name, birth date, nationality, and other essential information such as the passport number and issue date. Passport books also include visa pages, where visa stamps are placed when traveling to other countries.

Passport books are accepted globally and are used for all forms of travel, including air, land, and sea travel. They are issued by the government and are valid for ten years for adults and five years for children. Passport books are available in different sizes, and the standard size is 5 inches by 3.5 inches.

What is a Passport Card?

A passport card is a credit card-sized passport that contains similar personal identification details as a passport book, including a photograph, name, birth date, nationality, and other essential information. However, it is only valid for travel by land and sea between the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

The passport card was introduced in 2008 as a more convenient and cost-effective alternative to a passport book. It is available to U.S. citizens and can be used as a valid form of identification for domestic travel, such as boarding a domestic flight or entering a federal building.

The passport card is not a substitute for a passport book, and it cannot be used for international air travel. It is valid for ten years for adults and five years for children.

Passport Book vs. Passport Card

The primary difference between passport books and passport cards is their size, validity, and the modes of travel for which they can be used.

Size: Passport books are larger in size and resemble a small booklet, while passport cards are credit card-sized.

Validity: Passport books are valid for ten years for adults and five years for children, while passport cards have the same validity.

Modes of travel: Passport books can be used for all forms of travel, including air, land, and sea travel. In contrast, passport cards can only be used for land and sea travel between the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

Uses and Limitations

Passport books and passport cards have their uses and limitations, depending on the type of travel you are embarking on. Here are some of the uses and limitations of each passport document.

Passport Book

A passport book is necessary for international air travel. It is the only valid form of identification that airlines accept when boarding international flights. Passport books are also used for all forms of travel, including land and sea travel. If you are planning to travel to countries that require visas, a passport book is a must-have. Passport books offer more visa pages for visa stamps, making them ideal for frequent international travelers.

Passport Card

A passport card is ideal for travelers who frequently cross the borders between the United States, Canada, and Mexico by land or sea. It is a cheaper and more convenient alternative to a passport book and can be used for domestic travel, such as boarding domestic flights or entering federal buildings. However, passport cards cannot be used for international air travel, and they are not accepted in countries that require visas. Therefore, if you are planning international travel, a passport book is necessary.

Furthermore, passport cards have some limitations when it comes to border crossings. Some land border crossings may not accept passport cards, and travelers may need to present a passport book instead. Therefore, it is essential to check the requirements of the border crossings you plan to use before deciding on which passport document to obtain.

Another limitation of the passport card is its lack of visa pages. Passport cards do not have visa pages, which means that travelers who frequently travel internationally and require visas will need a passport book. Furthermore, passport cards are not suitable for travel to countries outside of the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between a passport book and passport card depends on the type of travel you plan to undertake. If you plan to travel internationally by air, a passport book is necessary. If you frequently travel by land or sea between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, a passport card may be a more cost-effective option. However, if you travel internationally and require visas, a passport book is essential.

It is also essential to note that some countries have specific requirements for passport validity. For instance, some countries require that passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry. Therefore, it is essential to check the passport requirements of the countries you plan to visit before making your choice.

Conclusion

In conclusion, passport books and passport cards are both essential documents for international travel. They differ in size, validity, and modes of travel for which they can be used. Passport books are necessary for international air travel and are used for all forms of travel, including land and sea travel. Passport cards are cheaper and more convenient alternatives to passport books and are ideal for frequent travelers between the United States, Canada, and Mexico by land or sea. However, they cannot be used for international air travel or in countries that require visas. Ultimately, the choice between a passport book and a passport card depends on the type of travel you plan to undertake.

Updated on: 2023-03-06T03:01:00Z

Published on: 2023-03-06 03:01:00