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Do I need a passport book or passport card?


passport book or card

A US passport book and card are both official documents issued by the US Department of State that can be used to prove identity and citizenship when traveling internationally, but they have some key differences.


  1. Purpose: The US passport book is primarily used for international travel by air, sea, or land. It contains visa pages, which are necessary for obtaining visas from foreign countries. The US passport card, on the other hand, is mainly used for land and sea travel to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

  2. Size and Appearance: The US passport book is a small booklet with a navy blue cover that contains 28 visa pages. It also includes a biographical information page with the holder's photo, name, date of birth, and other identifying information. The US passport card is the size of a credit card and has a different design, with an eagle and a shield on the front.

  3. Cost: The US passport book is more expensive than the US passport card. The current cost for a first-time adult passport book is $130, while the current cost for a first-time adult passport card is $30.

  4. Validity: Both US passport book and card are valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for minors.

  5. Mailing: passport book is eligible for expedited 1-2 mailing for $19.53, while passport card can only be shipped with first class mails.


In summary, the US passport book is a more comprehensive travel document that is required for international air travel and provides more flexibility for travel, while the US passport card is a more limited document that is primarily used for land and sea travel between specific countries.


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