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Passport Card

Passport Card

Learn More About the US PASSPORT CARDThe U.S. State Department is currently accepting applications and issuing the new Passport Card. The Passport Card, also called PASS Card, is a limited use passport in a “wallet size” format. The first Passport Cards were issued in the summer of 2008 and have been very popular with U.S. citizens. It takes approximately three weeks for the US Passport Card to be issued, once the State Department receives the application. As of June 1, 2009 all U.S. citizens returning from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean via land or sea borders must provide a US Passport Card or US Passport. Previously, individuals crossing land or sea borders in the United States could show a drivers license and birth certificate; however, after June 1, 2009 only government approved documentation is accepted.

The Passport Card is government-issued and serves as proof of identity and citizenship. It is more convenient than the traditional US Passport in that it costs less and is the size of a credit card, making it easier to carry. The Passport Card (also commonly referred to as the border card and PASScard) is issued by the State Department. The PASS Card technology, however, was determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The PASS Card, or US Passport Card, is valid for 10 years for individuals aged 16 and over, and 5 years for children aged 15 and younger.

PASS cards will be added to the existing list of acceptable forms of identification, which include passports, the Mexican “laser visa,” and the SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST cards used along the northern border. Federal officials have touted the PASS card program as a traveler-friendly solution to the tightened border credential requirement.

The new U.S. Passport Card eliminates the need for two types of documents as it is a passport in a pocket sized format. It is especially beneficial to business travelers and other individuals who live in border communities as well as those that travel frequently (by land or sea) between the United States and Canada / Mexico. The PASScard will also be a less expensive alternative for cruise ship passengers traveling from the United States to Bermuda and the Caribbean. The PASS Card can also be used for identity purposes including purchasing alcohol and tobacco.

Important: A full size United States Passport is still required for international air travel. The Passport Card can only be used for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.


  • The United States PassCard Application Guide is now available for download
  • Be one of the first to receive the new U.S. Passport Card (PASS card)
  • U.S. citizens are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to avoid delays
  • The Passport Card can be used on cruises to the Caribbean and Bermuda, in addition to land border crossings to Canada and Mexico.
  • The U.S. State Department started accepting applications for the Passport Card on February 1st, 2008, however, applicants will only receive the card itself by mail in the fall of 2008

Click here to download applications for the new U.S. Passport Card

The PASScard is only available to United States citizens. Both children and adults will be able to apply for the PASScard. The PASS cardestablishes both the identity and nationality of the bearer. Individuals who are not yet United States citizens are encouraged to apply for U.S. citizenship. United States citizen can have both a U.S. Passport and a Passport Card (PASS Card).

The PASS card is a travel document developed to comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative has the following implementation phases:

  • January 23, 2007
    The first phase (January 23, 2007) is only related to air travel between the United States and Mexico, Canada, Caribbean, Bermuda, Central and South America. All United States citizens must now possess a valid U.S. passport in order to fly to any country outside the United States.
  • January 31, 2008
    The second phase (January 31, 2008) is related to land borders and sea borders between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean region. All United States citizens must possess a valid identity document (e.g. U.S. drivers license) and citizenship document (e.g. U.S. birth certificate) upon return to the United States. The PASS Card (Passport Card) is proof of both identity and U.S. Citizenship.

The purpose of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is to strengthen border security by requiring visitors and United States citizens to provide secure and reliable documentation, which identifies the individual and his or her citizenship. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is based upon the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which requires the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to develop an identification plan for individuals entering the United States.

United States citizens may now apply for the new PASSCARD. The PASSCARD (US Passport Card will fulfill new border travel requirements and expedite sea and

American Passport Agency & VISA
Attn: Passport Department
P.O. Box 351807 LA, CA 90035