If you are traveling in the near future to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean, you might want to consider getting one of the new U.S. State Department passport cards.
Designed to replace your full passport when traveling to those specific locales, the cards are wallet-sized and contain your photo and ID info, much like your driver’s license. The card also has a chip that allows border officials to access your data. The cards are good for ten years and cost $45 ($35 for children under 16). If you want a card and already have a passport, your cost is only $20.
You can get an application for the new passport cards at the same places where you can obtain a U.S. Passport. Visit www.travel.state.gov for more info.
I checked on these cards at my local U.S. Post Office. The staff there was a little confused about how to go about getting a passport card, but they suggested I fill out the “Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail” (DS-82) form. You have to include a photo with the form, but they were not sure if you have to send your actual Passport in with the application if you have one.
I picked up the forms, but think it’s best to be sure to read the online information that at the above website which can direct you through the application process.
By Teresa K. Flatley