U.S. Passport Cards
Those of you who travel frequently between the U.S. and our neighbors in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda will be happy to hear the new U.S. Passport Cards are now in production. The Passport Card “facilitates entry and expedites document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.” The card can not be used to travel by air at this time. For land crossings, the card provides you with all of the same rights and privileges as a real live U.S. Passport.
The Passport Card is made for residents living in border towns to provide a less expensive and easier to carry alternative to the standard passport book. It’s the same size as your standard issue American driver’s license. The card is valid for 10 years for an adult or five for children 15 and younger. Adults who already have a Passport may apply for the Card as a passport renewal and pay only $20. First-time applicants pay $45 per adult and $35 for children.
The Card contains a RFID chip that stores information in a secure government databases. There is no personal information written to the RFID chip itself.
So the card is designed for border residents, but it could work great for the business travelers out there who have to go back and forth quite a lot. You know who you are, you’re going to those factory towns across the border in Mexico. No, this Card won’t replace your regular passport, but it can make your life a little easier for a small fee.