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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.