Should I get a passport book or card?
The passport book and passport card are both U.S. passports. If issued for the full validity, they are both proof of your U.S. citizenship and identity.
See the chart below to decide which is best for you. (Can't decide? Get both!)
|U.S. Passport Book||U.S. Passport Card|
|Used For||International travel
by air, sea, or land
|Entering the United States at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from:
The passport card cannot be used for international air travel.
|Validity||16 and older: 10 years
Under 16: 5 years
|16 and older: 10 years
Under 16: 5 years
|Size||5" x 3.5" (when closed)||Wallet size|
Please see Passport Fees for more information.
How do I get a passport card?
You can apply by mail using Form DS-82 if you have a passport book or card that:
- Can be submitted with your application
- Is undamaged (other than normal "wear and tear")
- Was issued when you were age 16 or older
- Was issued within the last 15 years
- 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)
- Passport cards can only be mailed to you using First-Class Mail.
- You can use Form DS-82 to renew your passport book at the same time you apply for your first passport card.
Can I apply for the passport card and passport book using the same application?
Yes, you can apply for both a passport book and passport card at the same time using either Form DS-11 (apply in person) or Form DS-82 (renew by mail - must be eligible). Simply check the appropriate box at the top of the form to indicate that you would like to apply for both products.
Be sure to include both passport book and passport card fees. Please see Passport Fees for more information.
Why can't I use a passport card to fly internationally?
The passport card was designed for the specific needs of northern and southern U.S. border communities with residents that cross the border frequently by land. The passport book is the only document approved for international air travel.
Can I use my passport card at Ready Lanes?
Yes, the passport card is approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be used in Ready Lanes at several land border ports of entry.
More information about Ready Lanes is available on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website.
DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport
DS-82: U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals (By Mail)