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Passport Book or Passport Card? Or Should You Have Both.

Hello again, fellow travelers.  Well, the debate rages on.  When getting a passport, is it better to get both a passport book and a passport card?  In my opinion, it is better to get both, provided you can afford it.

A passport book is required for all international travel. The passport card will only be accepted for domestic flights in the US and to visit 20 foreign nations including Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and 17 islands in the Caribbean.

I recommend that you get both, even though it may be a little pricey.  But remember, they are good for 10 years. And the card is a heck of a lot more convenient because it is the size of a credit card and therefore easy to keep in your wallet, especially for domestic flights and a visit to the 20 foreign countries, of which some are mentioned above.  The other thing to know is that the Passport card or passport book replaces the Real ID requirement.  That can be a real plus since getting a Real ID can be a major headache.

How much does all this cost?   Passport books are $145 for adults and $115 for minors.  Passport cards cost $65 for adults; $50 for minors.   Also, keep in mind, when it comes to renewal, your Passport book will cost $110 to renew and $30 for the passport card.  Of course, the prices will more than likely increase after 10 years.  But that remains to be seen.

So, what’s next?  How do you get a passport book and passport card?  The easiest way is to go directly to the Travel.State.Gov which is a part of the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs.  Click on the tab, “Need a Passport”.

The form you will use is known as a DS11.  Simply print and fill it out.  Also, you will need a photo of yourself to have added to the passport book and card.  There are several places that will take your photograph, just check your local area.

I found it easier to make an appointment at the local library or post office and they will do it for a fee.   It’s a once and done process as they will take your application together with your photograph and send it to the State Department for processing.  It takes about 6 weeks to get it back, but due to COVID-19, it could take a little longer.  You can also request expedited service if your need is urgent.  There is an associated fee that will be listed on the DS11.

So, let me know in the feedback area what your preference is?  Do you think one or both is better?  Love to hear your feedback.  Happy travels and until next time …


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Hello I am Nancy, and I am a Travel Advisor

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