In this article, we will discuss the topic of the U.S. passport book vs card, the advantages and disadvantages and which one should you get. The Department of State of the United States issues two versions of passports. Besides the traditional passport book, there is a passport card that looks different and is used for different purposes. The passport card is basically an ID card, while the passport book is a normal passport that has enough pages for different stamps and visas. To learn more about the US passport book vs card, how much they cost and most importantly, which one is suitable for your case – continue reading this informative article.
What is a passport book?
The United States passport book is a document used for international travel by land, sea or air. If you are under 16, the validity of your passport book will be 5 years. If you are 16 or older than your passport book will have a validity of 10 years. The US passport book size is 5’’ X 3.5’’ when it is closed.
Passport book cost
How much is a passport book? The first-time applicants that are 16 and older will have to pay a $145.00 passport book fee. To get an American passport book if you are under 16, you will have to pay $115.00. If you want to renew your passport book by mail, this will cost you $110. How long does it take to get a passport book? The urgent passport book price includes the delivery that takes one to two days and costs additionally $17.13. (The usual processing time is between 4 and 6 weeks and 2 weeks for expedited passport book.)
Advantages of Passport books
The main advantage of the US passport book vs card is that the passport book is valid for international air travel. Also, it has pages on which you can apply visas or different stamps to travel abroad. Therefore, passport books can be used to acquire visas for traveling. The American passport books are also a proof of your US citizenship and identity.
What is a passport card
The passport card is an official United States document that is used at land border crossing and seaports for several countries. The US passport cards cannot be used for international air travel but they are alternatives to state issued ID documents. The validity of the US passport card is 5 years if you are under 16. Your United States passport card will be valid for 10 years if you are older than 16.
List of countries and territories where the US passport card is valid to be used:
- The Bahamas
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Lucia
- Caribbean Netherlands
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Passport card cost
US passport cards are cheaper than passport books. The first-time applicants that are older than 16 pay only $65 to get an American passport card. If you are under 16, you have to pay $50 as the passport card fee. The renewal of an US passport card can be done by mail and it costs $30. You can also get the First Class mail and your card will be delivered faster. (The processing time is usually 4 to 6 weeks and 2 weeks for the expedited passport card.)
Advantages of Passport Cards
One of the main advantages of the passport card is that it is very convenient because it is small and fits in your wallet. More than that, it can be used for land and sea travel to Bermuda, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and other territories. The US passport card is less expensive than the American passport book. Also, a US passport card can be used as an identification document for non-drivers and children.
What is the differences between a passport book and a passport card?
Many people are interested to know the difference between passport book and passport card. The main difference is that passport books are valid for international traveling while passport cards are valid for traveling to several countries and only by sea or land. You cannot get a visa or a stamp using a passport card but it is very convenient if you often travel to Mexico, Canada, or other countries/territories from the list above. Another difference between a passport book and a card is the size – the U.S. passport card is smaller, while the passport book size is bigger.
Do I need a passport book and card?
Curious to know if you need a passport card or book? Asking yourself should I get a passport book or a card or even both? If you want to travel internationally by air you must get a large passport book. If you have a passport book, you do not need to get a passport card. The passport card is more suitable for people who frequently cross the Canadian or Mexican border by land, for non-drivers who want an identification document, for children that do not have a driver license or another identification card as well as for sailors that sail in international waters between the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada and the US. Still, note that it is recommended to hold both the passport book if you are planning a cruise (in case of an emergency). Sometimes it is convenient to carry both a passport book and card for international travel. No matter what type of document you choose, you will need to fill in the passport book application or passport card application and prepare suitable passport photos. Here is where Passport Photo Online comes in handy! We will prepare a professional US passport book or US passport card photo in seconds using Artificial Intelligence! Just upload a selfie on the site of our passport photo editor and see it being transformed into the picture that meets all of the official requirements!