US Passport Cards now available online in a limited trial

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The US State Department yesterday launched a limited trial for US Passport Card online applications. The trial will last for 9 days or 20,000 applications. Smarter Travel broke the news in this article.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Have a valid, 10 year U.S. passport book
  • Have at least 12 months of validity remaining on your passport book before expiration
  • Have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address
  • Have an e-mail address

The fee is the same, $30, this just removes the hassle of mailing an application.

The card is not valid for international air travel, but is a great stand-in for certain land and sea borders. It can serve as a great backup ID in the US  in case a driver’s license is lost on the road, or even for opening a bank account that requires two government-issued IDs. Abroad, it can stand-in for a national ID better than a driver’s license, while your passport is stored safely. See here for a full previous post on the card.


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10 years ago

I got the card when I renewed my passport last year. But for my travels it seems pretty useless. I always just take a copy of my passport info page with me abroad in case something happens to my passport. Since the card has a different number, etc I’m not sure how useful it is. Also, when you are in a country that requires a visa I don’t see how carrying the passport card really would do you any good if the authorities stopped you and asked for your documents since you wouldn’t have any proof that you are legally… Read more »

10 years ago

I have it so when I am in a foreign country I have an ID, and technically I am still carrying my passport at all times. (some countries require that). Also, in the unfortuntate case I need to go the an embassy, I have ID.

10 years ago

Do they charge a $25 processing fee online like they do when you apply in person? Or is it $30 total?

Rapid Travel Chai
10 years ago
Reply to  Sara

@Sara – that fee is only charged for new applicants that do not have a passport or passport card, it is not charged for renewals. Since you have to already have a passport to be eligible for online, the fee is not charged and you just pay $30.