US Passport Card

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by thatoneguy82, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

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    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #1
    I'm in the middle of renewing my US Passport, the expiration date is Aug 2012. I just found out that there is now a Passport Card that can be issued in addition to the standard book, for an extra fee. I tried to search through the Department of State site and didn't really get a clear answer to my questions and thought maybe someone here could shed some light. First, can the US Passport Card serve as a proof of your identity and eligibility for employment much like the traditional passport book can? Second, when first applying for the card and also renewing your passport, do you mark that you are applying for both? Or, do you complete another application that marks that you are applying for the card? I'll be sending them a picture per application so it can be used per item, but I doubt that matters. Per the website, if I've never had a passport card, I need to apply in person since I'll be using a different form. However, it also says I can apply online. I'm not sure wether or not to write one or two different checks, one for the passport book and another for the passport card. It's confusing.
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Location:
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    #2
    It should be just as good as your passport for proving your identity when within the US. But, passport cards are not common, so if you provided it to an employer as proof of citizenship or to a bartender to prove you're 21, they might not recognize it and accept it. Also remember, the card is only good for land travel across the Canadian border (and perhaps sea travel to some Caribbean islands) and is no good for air travel to/from the US.

    You should be able to get both at the same time on the same form and write one check. I got my card a couple years after getting my passport and had to send in a renewal form marked card only and a check for, I think it was $30. But I thought I remember there being a box to check if you want both.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    All of your questions are answered in the FAQ. The Passport card is just as valid as a passport in terms of identity. Whether or not the person you present it to realizes what it is (and that it's valid) is up to them.

    You probably don't need a passport card. You should probably just go for the standard passport.
     
  4. donga macrumors 6502a

    donga

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    AZ
    #4
    agreed. the passport is the universally recognized standard, from the impression that i get, the card is more of a convenience thing if you plan on crossing the canadian/mexican borders frequently
     
  5. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #5
    I didn't get a passport card because they're not accepted everywhere. You can't use it when you travel internationally via Air ... and they're really only useful around North America.

    I can see the convenience, but honestly I'd rather just save the money and carry my real passport when necessary. Not like im going to mexico anytime soon and im not concerned about carrying my passport in Canada if necessary.
     
  6. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Location:
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    #6
    I got mine to use at TSA checkpoints. I'm not particularly fond of the police academy rejects and other morons and ex-cons the TSA hires and don't trust them with my address and the knowledge that I'm out of town, so I opted for the passport card which doesn't have that information. Perhaps I'm just paranoid.

    Plus there was a time an ID checker insisted my Missouri drivers license was fake, but let me through anyways. I figure the passport card is good idea in case the next trained monkey working the checkpoint who thinks my MO DL is fake does what they're supposed to do when they suspect a fake ID and don't let me board my flight.

    Can you tell I don't think too highly of the TSA? :p
     
  7. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    I really don't see the point in getting one unless you're a frequent US-Canada or US-Mexico border crosser. As stated by others and the FAQ, it's not a passport replacement. We've had the option for years back in Michigan for an 'enhanced license' which I think is a dual license/passport card. Probably the same for other border states, so you might want to look into that and see if it's any cheaper.

    Seeing as I now live in Chicago (though MI license still) and rarely cross the border when I'm back in Michigan, I opted out and just have my regular license and my passport as needed.
     
  8. thatoneguy82 thread starter macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

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    Jul 23, 2008
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    Beach Cities, CA
    #8
    Wow. I could've sworn I checked every FAQ on that site but I never saw one that looked like that. But, thanks, it makes it all clear now.

    As far as the necessity of the Passport Card for me, I frequently have road trips with friends and family down to San Diego and Mexico. I don't want to have to worry about bringing my passport book with me. And, I'm well aware that it doesn't replace the passport book, it's clearly stated all over the site and on the application form. It would be nice, however, if it worked also as a confirmation of identity especially since it has some RFID chip within the card itself.
     
  9. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    Sep 13, 2011
    #9
    Really only good for travel to Mexico or Canada
     
  10. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #10
    I have one. I use it for when I go to Canada.
     
  11. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #11
    Even so, the card allows you to leave your passport in the hotel/motel safe, so you don't get ripped-off.

    Thinking specifically of Mexico here. ;)
     
  12. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #12
    Oh yeah cause you Canadians are so upstanding!:p
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #13
    Hey! We are are, eh? We got us Mounties, and polar bears if you get out line, and prisons that float on ice floes for the really hardcore. And if that's not enough we'll introduce you to the Shawinigan Handshake.

    Back on topic.... Sounds like passport cards are very useful, but only in limited situations. Regardless of where I was travelling - if I didn't have to carry a full passport with me (leaving it in the hotel room) and could just tuck a small card into a pocket - I would.
     
  14. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #14
    I've use a photocopy in the past. Lame I know, but it's something.

    Never had to use it either.

    Canadians rarely do, a Canada flag pin is usually sufficient. :p
     
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #15
    That's 'cause they're scared of us.... might smother 'em with politeness... ;)
     
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #16
    What does that mean? RFID does not confirm or deny anyone's identity. If your passport card got stolen it's not as if the RFID wouldn't work for the thief as well, but presumably the picture on the card wouldn't match.
     
  17. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #17
    One might assume that the card would be flagged, and the thief grabbed at the first use.
     
  18. thatoneguy82 thread starter macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

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    #18
    I mean it would access some secured government file on a server not a local file within the chip. The chip would just be some access code. That kind of hacking by the thief within the government would probably raise enough attention and wouldn't get too far. But, probably not
     
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #19
    I have one for my son, but we have never used it. We just use his regular passport.
     
  20. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
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    #20
    If the chip contains the access code then there's no point in having it access a secured government server, because anyone with the card will have the access code (including thieves, if it got stolen). Passport cards are not chip-and-pin... maybe you're confused about how RFID is used in passports and passport cards.

    That would be a poor assumption.
     
  21. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #21
    I just got my new passport last week. Took 1 week door to door (expedited). I opted for the card as well only because it's something I can keep in my wallet all the time though your passport can be used for identity for anything.
     

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