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Old 05-23-2012, 10:40 PM   #1
poohbear luvs grumpy
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Passport book / passport card?

What is the difference and are they both accepted the same?

Years ago I was able to get a birth certificate and a birth card for my kids but now the birth cards are no longer accepted. I hate to spend a lot of money on something that will become useless.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:47 PM   #2
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U.S. Passport Card Frequently Asked Questions

What is the passport card?

The passport card is the wallet-size travel document that can only be used to re-enter the United States at land border-crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. The card provides a less expensive, smaller, and convenient alternative to the passport book for those who travel frequently to these destinations by land or by sea.

Why can’t I use the passport card to fly to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda?

The passport card was designed for the specific needs of northern and southern U.S. border communities with residents that cross the border frequently by land. The passport book is the only document approved for international travel by air.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:54 PM   #3
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Thanks
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
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If you get a passport card for a closed loop cruise you are wasting a lot of money. You can use a birth certificate for children and a BC and photo ID for adults and those are just as useful as a passport card in an emergency.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:40 PM   #5
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The passport card is a waste of money, period!

If you live near the Canadian border a NEXUS card is cheaper ($50 vs $55) and it allows you to skip the line when crossing the border. The lines near where I live regularly reach an hour long, and can exceed two hours on holiday weekends.

If you live near the Mexican border, a SENTRI pass is considerably more expensive, but again you get to skip the line when driving across the border. But you also need to get your car certified.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trimix View Post
The passport card is a waste of money, period!

If you live near the Canadian border a NEXUS card is cheaper ($50 vs $55) and it allows you to skip the line when crossing the border. The lines near where I live regularly reach an hour long, and can exceed two hours on holiday weekends.

If you live near the Mexican border, a SENTRI pass is considerably more expensive, but again you get to skip the line when driving across the border. But you also need to get your car certified.
So basically, if you're crossing a border on a ship, without any plans to drive across any borders any time soon, the cards aren't any better than a birth cert and driver's license.

My sister and her DH cruised on Carnival. Mexican Riviera round trip from Los Angeles, last year and thought they needed the cards. um, no. I didn't tell her she had wasted her money, since if there was an emergency she would have needed a passport book to fly home from Mexico.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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Thank you for all of the responses. They were all very helpful.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trimix View Post
The passport card is a waste of money, period!

If you live near the Canadian border a NEXUS card is cheaper ($50 vs $55) and it allows you to skip the line when crossing the border. The lines near where I live regularly reach an hour long, and can exceed two hours on holiday weekends.

If you live near the Mexican border, a SENTRI pass is considerably more expensive, but again you get to skip the line when driving across the border. But you also need to get your car certified.

I also use our passport cards as a government issued photo ID (it does not have an address on it)
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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should we get the card???

We just booked the Dec 1 cruise leaving from Galveston. DD, Dh and myself all do not currently have passports or passport cards. Dh and I are wondering if we need to get the passport cards- specifically for dd although we'd go ahead and get ours too. Our reason is dd is adopted- she is hispanic and we are not. My parents got dh and I freaked out this weekend about taking her into Mexico without proof she is ours--- I thought maybe the fact the child does not speak a word of spanish might be proof enough. DD is 11 by the way and will be 12 when we cruise.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:15 AM   #10
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I just filled out all the forms to get passports for the four of us. When I called DCL I was told that we wouldn't need passports, but it was highly recommended. I was told that we would be required to have certified birth certificates.

For what reasons would I NEED a passport??? It'd be really nice to NOT have to spend that $400!
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #11
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We got both the Passport book and the card. For us, its a second form of Government issued ID for me, and a legal form of ID for my DS (10) For this use alone, it is worth it FOR US. And carrying around the full passport book on a daily basis makes my eye twitch! It remains in the file cabinent with the copies of the Birth Certificates I have.
Would I personally travel anywhere outside the US without a passport book? No, because the thought of having to be at the mercy of a US Embassy somewhere in the middle of an emergency is kind of scary. With the book, all we need to worry about is how to get home quickly. I dont like waiting on governmental red tape on a good day, in an emergency, it would probably send me over the edge.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkochrn View Post
I just filled out all the forms to get passports for the four of us. When I called DCL I was told that we wouldn't need passports, but it was highly recommended. I was told that we would be required to have certified birth certificates.

For what reasons would I NEED a passport??? It'd be really nice to NOT have to spend that $400!
If you are out of the country and need to fly home for some emergency reason.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkochrn View Post
I just filled out all the forms to get passports for the four of us. When I called DCL I was told that we wouldn't need passports, but it was highly recommended. I was told that we would be required to have certified birth certificates.

For what reasons would I NEED a passport??? It'd be really nice to NOT have to spend that $400!
From what I understand the only real reason you "need" passports right now is in case of emergency- needing to be flown into the country. Without passport you can only enter by boat.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkochrn
For what reasons would I NEED a passport??? It'd be really nice to NOT have to spend that $400!
They'd be important for emergencies, especially if you needed to fly back into the US.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2val View Post
We just booked the Dec 1 cruise leaving from Galveston. DD, Dh and myself all do not currently have passports or passport cards. Dh and I are wondering if we need to get the passport cards- specifically for dd although we'd go ahead and get ours too. Our reason is dd is adopted- she is hispanic and we are not. My parents got dh and I freaked out this weekend about taking her into Mexico without proof she is ours--- I thought maybe the fact the child does not speak a word of spanish might be proof enough. DD is 11 by the way and will be 12 when we cruise.
A passport card or passport will not prove she is YOURS, it will prove she is a US citizen. Um...a card would be worthless if she needed to fly home in an emergency while a real passport would cover her.

IMHO--card is a total waste of money. It isn't what you need in an emergency, and what it will do for cruise purposes is exactly what a certified birth certificate will do. Either get a real passport or use BC; don't waste the money on the card.
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