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Passport Book vs. Passport Card: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 9, 2023
A passport book is a globally accepted travel document, while a passport card is limited to land and sea entries from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

Key Differences

A passport book is the traditional form of passport, recognizable by its multi-page booklet format. In contrast, a passport card is wallet-sized and resembles a driver's license.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
Passport books can be used for international air travel and are accepted globally. On the other hand, a passport card is limited and cannot be used for international air travel.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
For travelers within the U.S., the passport card can serve as a Real ID-compliant identification for domestic flights. The passport book, while bulkier, is universally accepted for all forms of travel.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023
The cost for a passport book is generally higher than that of a passport card. Still, the book's flexibility and wide acceptance make it a popular choice for frequent international travelers.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023
When deciding between a passport book and a passport card, one should consider the nature and frequency of their travels. While the passport book offers comprehensive coverage, the passport card may suffice for those traveling by land or sea to specific regions.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Format

Multi-page booklet
Wallet-sized card
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

International Air Use

Yes
No
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Acceptance

Global
Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda (land and sea)
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Cost

Generally higher
Typically lower
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Purpose

Comprehensive international travel
Limited regional travel (by land/sea)
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023
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Passport Book and Passport Card Definitions

Passport Book

A booklet permitting the holder to travel abroad and re-enter their home country.
Before her trip, she renewed her passport book.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Passport Card

A cost-effective alternative to the passport book for specific travel.
They saved money by getting passport cards for their cruise.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Passport Book

A global travel document allowing international air travel.
She grabbed her passport book before her flight to Europe.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Passport Card

A wallet-sized card for land and sea travel within specific regions.
For their road trip to Mexico, they used their passport cards.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Passport Book

A booklet containing personal details and visas for international journeys.
Always check the expiration date on your passport book before planning a trip.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

Passport Card

A Real ID-compliant document for domestic flights within the U.S.
The passport card can be used as ID for domestic flights.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Passport Book

An official government document certifying identity and citizenship.
His passport book had stamps from over 30 countries.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Passport Card

A card permitting entry to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda without a booklet.
She always keeps her passport card in her wallet for spontaneous trips.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Passport Book

A universally recognized travel and identification document.
You'll need a valid passport book for international flights.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Passport Card

A limited travel document resembling a driver's license.
He prefers the convenience of the passport card when cruising to the Bahamas.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

FAQs

How many pages are in a typical passport book?

A standard U.S. passport book has 28 pages, but a 52-page version is available for frequent travelers.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Is the passport card a replacement for the passport book?

No, the passport card is an alternative with limited use, not a replacement for the passport book.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Can I use the passport book for all types of travel?

Yes, the passport book is accepted for all international travel modes.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Which is more cost-effective for frequent international air travelers?

The passport book is the only option for international air travelers and is more versatile.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Can I use the passport card for domestic flights in the U.S.?

Yes, the passport card is Real ID-compliant and can be used for domestic flights.
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

Where is the passport card valid for entry?

The passport card is valid for land and sea entries from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 09, 2023

How long is the validity of both the passport book and passport card?

For adults, both are valid for 10 years. For minors under 16, they are valid for 5 years.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

How do I decide which document to get?

Consider your travel needs. If you travel frequently by air, go for the passport book. If you only travel by land or sea to specific regions, the passport card might suffice.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Are the security features the same for both?

Both contain security features, but their design differs due to their format.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Are there different designs or themes for the passport card?

The U.S. passport card has a standardized design.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Can I hold both a passport book and a passport card?

Yes, U.S. citizens can simultaneously hold both documents.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Can I add visas to my passport card?

No, visas can only be added to passport books.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Is the processing time the same for both documents?

Generally, yes, but always check with the U.S. Department of State for current processing times.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 09, 2023

Is the passport card widely recognized?

It's recognized for specific regional travel but not as universally accepted as the passport book.
Janet White
Oct 09, 2023

Can I renew both my passport book and card at the same time?

Yes, you can renew both simultaneously using the appropriate form.
Sara Rehman
Oct 09, 2023

Is the application process the same for both documents?

The application process is similar, but there are differences in fees and required documents.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023

Do children need a passport book or can they travel with the card?

Children can have either, but the passport book is required for international air travel.
Harlon Moss
Oct 09, 2023

In case of loss, can I report both the passport book and card together?

Yes, you can report the loss of both documents together.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023

How much does it cost to get both?

Fees vary, so always check with the U.S. Department of State for the latest fee structure.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023

Is biometric data stored in the passport card?

The U.S. passport card contains a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, but it doesn't store personal information. Instead, it points to a stored record.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 09, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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