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Passport Cards

Getting a US passport card is an alternative to a traditional passport book for US citizens. Passport cards were introduced to the American public July 2008, and more than seven million US passport cards have since been issued. For information on how to get a US passport card, continue below.

What is a passport card?

A passport ID card is similar to a traditional US passport in that it allows international travel. Its dimensions are similar to a driver’s license, and passport card costs are also less than a passport.

The major difference between passport books and passports cards is that a passport ID card restricts international travel to:

  1. The Caribbean.

In addition, passport card holders can only cross these four countries’ borders at:

  1. Land border crossings.
  2. Sea ports-of-entries.

Any attempts to travel by plane with a passport ID card to an international country will be denied.

How to Apply for a Passport Card

Note if you already have a valid US passport book, then you do not need a passport card. If you still want to apply for passport card credentials, you do have that option.

There are three ways to apply for a passport ID card: by mail, in person or online.


Any US citizen may apply for a passport card online through an authorized agent. In order to expedite the process, you will need to complete the online passport card application in full. Your passport card will require a standard color photo, along with information including your:

By Mail

To apply for a passport card by mail, you must first determine if you are qualified to use Passport ID Card Form DS-82. Review the specifications below:

If all of the above applies to you, you may submit a US passport ID card by mail. Download Form DS-82 from the US Passports and International Travel website. Once completed and signed, mail the passport ID card application to the address provided.

In Person

If you are ineligible to complete Form DS-82 (requirements listed above under “By Mail”) or have never had a US passport book, you must apply for passport cards in person.

Passport Card Application Form DS-11 will be given to you at the US Passport Agency. You are encouraged to set up an appointment beforehand, otherwise you may not be seen by an agent.

Passport Photos

When applying for a passport ID card, you must already have a passport photo. For more information, visit the Passport Photo page.

How much is a passport card?

As was previously stated, a US Passport ID Card costs less than a traditional passport book because:


Passport cards cost $40 for minors younger than 16, and are valid for five years.

Passport ID cards cost $55 for adults 16 and older, and are valid for 10 years.

Passport cards renewal costs $30.