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Old 06-05-2014, 12:16 PM   #1
belle05
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Passport Card vs book

First question...does anyone actually have and have used a passport card?
2nd..Do they work the same way?
3rd.. Taking a Eastern Caribbean cruise in December, my travel agent is telling me we wont even need a passport (unless of course we get left behind). Is this true? I thought everyone needed some sort of passport always.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:23 PM   #2
lanejudy
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A passport card will work the same as a passport book for identification purposes, which is what you would use it for on a closed-loop cruise out of a U.S. port. Birth certificate, plus photo ID for those 16+, is minimum requirement to prove identify and citizenship.

I do have a Passport Card and have used it. However, I do not recommend getting a Passport Card simply for a cruise. Either spring for the full Passport Book or skip it entirely and use BC+ID. The card has no value or benefit to help you fly -- either home due to emergency or to catch up with the ship if delayed. Those are the primary reasons for having a Passport for a cruise, and the card is useless in those instances as it is only valid for land or seas crossings in the northern hemisphere.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:41 PM   #3
tvguy
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Never really understood the Passport card. A Passport does everything you need, and even a few things you may not have known you would need. When I switched jobs, HR snapped the Passport out of my hand, it was the best ID they needed for proof of citizenship. When DD got her driver's license, DMV didn't want anything to do with her BC when they saw she had her Passport with her.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:45 PM   #4
tankin
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I have both. I travel a lot outside the US so the last time I renewed my passport, I paid the $30 for the card too. When I'm out and about, my passport book stays in the room safe and the card is on me.

That way if I have an issue, the consulate or embassy staff can quickly reissue me a book to get home
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:48 PM   #5
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Passports are more expensive than Passport Cards. If you drive, say, from the US to Canada all the time, but don't plan other international travel, a Passport Card makes that easier (who wants to carry a birth certificate around with them all the time) without the expense of a Passport. (I'm not even sure. Can you drive into Canada on a BC any more?) But for occasional foreign travel, they really have no use, and I agree that a full Passport book is the better choice.

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Old 06-05-2014, 12:55 PM   #6
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... Can you drive into Canada on a BC any more? ...
Nope. That's why we have our Passport Cards.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:05 PM   #7
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A number of states now offer an "Enhanced" Driver's License - an "identification card that will allow them to re-enter the United States (via land or sea) from Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean without needing a passport". It is basically the equivalent of a passport card . So, if someone didn't want to bother with the expense of a passport, that could be an option when your driver's license comes up for renewal. It may cost a little more than a standard license, but the difference will be far less than a passport.

ETA: actually only 5 states offer it (New York, Vermont, Michigan, Washington, and Minnesota). I thought it was more.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:29 PM   #8
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I think cards are a waste. We just always get the Passport and then we know we are good even if we have to travel through airports. You never know.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanejudy View Post
A passport card will work the same as a passport book for identification purposes, which is what you would use it for on a closed-loop cruise out of a U.S. port. Birth certificate, plus photo ID for those 16+, is minimum requirement to prove identify and citizenship.

I do have a Passport Card and have used it. However, I do not recommend getting a Passport Card simply for a cruise. Either spring for the full Passport Book or skip it entirely and use BC+ID. The card has no value or benefit to help you fly -- either home due to emergency or to catch up with the ship if delayed. Those are the primary reasons for having a Passport for a cruise, and the card is useless in those instances as it is only valid for land or seas crossings in the northern hemisphere.

Enjoy your cruise!
This is a perfect and simple explanation. Nice!

We use our passport everytime we travel even domestically. We always carry them with us if we will be using an airport. We also carry them with us for a cruise. Just no better documentation ID to have. No question.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:43 PM   #10
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Yep yep yep. Also it was all I needed when I started my job (vs two forms of ID.) Passports are the number 1 ideal ID for anything and you only need to get them every 10 yrs. I agree with PP. Either don't bother and use your BC and ID or go all the way and be all set completely.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankin View Post
I have both. I travel a lot outside the US so the last time I renewed my passport, I paid the $30 for the card too. When I'm out and about, my passport book stays in the room safe and the card is on me.

That way if I have an issue, the consulate or embassy staff can quickly reissue me a book to get home
Exactly what I do when traveling... Yes, they are also convienient for the cruise, and work just fine.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankin View Post
I have both. I travel a lot outside the US so the last time I renewed my passport, I paid the $30 for the card too. When I'm out and about, my passport book stays in the room safe and the card is on me.

That way if I have an issue, the consulate or embassy staff can quickly reissue me a book to get home
Exactly what I do when traveling... Yes, they are also convienient for the cruise, and work just fine.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinPrincessMermaids View Post
I think cards are a waste. We just always get the Passport and then we know we are good even if we have to travel through airports. You never know.
That's because you live in KY

If you live in a border city, it's easier to make a last minute decision to cross the border with a passport card in your wallet than it is to have your passport on you all the time. If we are out and decide we want to stop somewhere for dinner, we have the option to include Canadian border city restaurants as well.
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