Traveling internationally requires you to bring your US passport with you. Most, if not all, countries require this document before letting you enter their territory, as this establishes your identity and shows proof of your citizenship. Usually, you’ll bring your passport book to these destinations, but there are places where you can simply use the US passport card. You can use your passport card in destinations covered by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). These destinations are Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico. In this article, we’ll show you how to get a passport card so you can visit these WHTI destinations.
Before anything else let’s discuss what a passport card is. Simply put, it is an alternative to the passport book that US citizens can use in traveling to WHTI destinations. Unlike the passport book, a passport card is smaller and easily fits into your wallet.
If convenience is your thing, then you’ll definitely want to know how to get a passport card or how to get a new passport in a day. When you have one, you don’t have to present it to the US Customs officials anymore just to provide your identity. All they need to do is scan your card, and they will immediately get relevant details about you. Your card stays in your wallet.
A passport card is also a cheaper alternative to the typical passport book. The fee for applying for a passport card is only about half of the passport book’s price. However, the use of passport cards are only allowed for travel to the WHTI destinations by land or sea. If you are going to travel to these destinations by air, you will then be required to submit your passport book.
Interested in getting a passport card? The steps are fairly straightforward, and they depend on whether or not you already have a passport. If you are a previous or current passport holder, then you can fill in Form DS-82, which enables you to send your application by mail.
Previous Passport Required
However, if you haven’t had any passport before, then you will need to submit the Form DS-11. Unlike the DS-82, you will have to submit this form in person to the passport office. That’s why it’s important that you already familiarize yourself with the requirements you need to submit even before applying, so as to save you valuable time.
Discount With Both
If you travel to various destinations regularly, then you’ll likely want to be flexible when it comes to your travel. You can get the flexibility you want if you apply for both a passport book and passport card. That way, you can use your passport card when visiting WTHI destinations then use your passport book to other destinations. What’s more is that you can get a considerable discount if you apply for both types of passports at the same time.
To summarize this information, you need a United States passport card when traveling to WHTI destinations. It’s also great if you are after the convenience and cost-effectiveness of having one compared to a United States passport book obtained through the passport agencies. Look into this alternative before your next trip.