Before we look into the uses of passport card, let us try to know what a passport card is, the features and use of passport card in general.
Passport card is a pass card which is an alternative to a pass port book in the US. Pass port card is used as an identity card for US citizens. It is a pocket size passport albeit some limitations when compared to passport book. This was introduced in US in the year 2008 and the response was overwhelming. The official reports say that almost three million passport cards have been issued to the citizens of US in a short span of three years time. Passport cards are issued to US citizens only, which can be used to re-enter US from Canada, Bermuda and some other neighboring countries of US. One of the major limitations of passport size card is that it can be used only while travelling by Land or Sea.
Application and the process of passport card are same as of conventional passport book. Documentation part of it is also same. Easy to handle and the portability of passport card are the major plus points of passport cards when compare to passport books.
Objective and rationale of passport card:
As we said earlier, passport card is an alternative to Passport book in the US.Pasport card is issued by United States Department Of State in response to the demand raised by US community who frequent in and around US by land and Sea .This innovative step taken by the US authorities have been widely accepted and used in the US because of its miniscule size and portability. Passport card is not accepted in Air travel due to some aviation security reasons.
Uses of Passport card
To improve the efficiency of road transport especially in the case of land crossings, use of passport card will help you prove your identity. Its Radio Frequency identification chip with a unique number adds the use of passport card effectively. It protects the privacy of the passport card holder by way of this unique number which gets attached to the official database of the government only.
Under the real ID Act of the US, this passport card can be accepted for federal purposes such as domestic air travel and permission to enter federal buildings. TSA regulations in the US also accept passport card as an ID proof. At Airport and other security check posts. Passport card is considered while processing employment verification form. In some international consulates, Passport cards are accepted as a valid ID proof of US citizenship.
Validity and Fee of passport cards:
The passport cards hold the same validity of 10 years for major and 5 years for minors as in the case of passport books. While the fee is comparatively less for passport cards than normal passport books .The use of passport card is more in inland cruse and travel by land. A citizen of US is free to have both passport card and passport book at the same time. This can be applied in the same passport application form itself. Pass port card lay out is set in the form of credit card in its shape and even in looks.