Difference Between Passport Card vs Passport Book
There are different laws guiding a person’s ability to move from one country to another. Any person that intends to travel to an international destination is expected to have an international passport, which is a document issued by the immigration ministry of a country verifying the identity of the bearer. You may be required to have additional documents depending on the requirements of the country you are travelling to.
In this piece, we will discuss the two types of passport documents issued by the United States of America to their citizens who wish to travel outside of the country. We will compare these two documents, discuss the difference between passport book and passport card, and how the two are similar.
Definition of Passport Card
A passport card is defined as a travel document that verifies the identity of a person traveling to certain international destinations by land or sea. It is lighter, cheaper, and can only be used when traveling either by land or by sea to a foreign destination.
As legitimate as this document may be, it cannot be used to travel by air. It can also only be issued to citizens of the United State of America and those who live in border communities in the US.
This card is a typical wallet-size with a validity that depends on the bearer’s age. Bearers under age sixteen can use their card for a duration of five years after being issued while those who are sixteen and above can use theirs for ten years after which the card’s validation expires.
One similarity you would notice when comparing passport card vs passport book is that both of them contain the same information – surname, given name, nationality, card number, sex, date of birth, place of birth, the date it was issued, and the date it expires. On the reverse side, you also have some relevant information related to your verification.
Definition of Passport Book
A passport book is the only internationally approved document for verifying the identity of anyone traveling to an international destination by air. Unlike the card, this book is made of several pages of quality papers bound by a specifically-colored paper.
The first page contains the details of the holder including the name of the holder, date of birth, expiry date, card number, nationality, and so on. The rest of the pages are blank and meant for visa stamping.
It is a little bigger in size compared to the card at 5″x3.5″ when closed. Aside from international travel by air, this book can also be used to travel outside of the country by land or water. Comparing a passport book vs passport card concerning validity presents the same information.
Adults enjoy a validity of ten years while minors under age sixteen enjoy a validity of five years. The cost also depends on the age of holder – adults pay more than minors but it costs the same amount to renew them.
Main Differences Between Passport Card vs Passport Book
Here is a table representing the main features that differentiate these two documents.
|Basis of Comparison||Passport card||Passport book|
|Definition||A travel document that verifies the identity of a person traveling to certain international destinations by land or sea||The only internationally-approved document for verifying the identity of anyone traveling to an international destination by air|
|Size||Wallet size – about 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches||5 inches by 3.5 inches when closed|
|Validation||Five years for minors less than sixteen years old and ten years for adults.||Five years for minors less than sixteen years old and ten years for adults.|
|Processing time||Four to six weeks, two weeks expedition.||Four to six weeks, two weeks expedition.|
Difference Between Passport Card and Passport Book: Conclusion
The difference between passport card and book still stands, but if you can afford it, you may want to get both documents if you travel frequently. This way, you can carry the card when you are in countries where you are expected to always carry your passport.