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Smaller passport now available for quick trips across the border

LatinaLista — It’s been government policy that everyone needs a passport to leave the country. Up until now, that passport has been the traditional dark blue book that is small enough to fit into a pocket but not small enough to be really handy to tuck inside a wallet.
Well, starting this month, people can now buy the Passport Card that is actually the same size as most driver’s licenses, and the best part, costs less than the bookish variety.

While the passport card is convenient, it does have its limitations. For one thing, it can’t be used to fly into another country. It’s only good for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda — for short trips or daytripping excursions.
The cost of the passport card is less than the traditional passport ($45 versus $100) but showing that they have learned from corporate America, the government is offering a discount on the passport card if you are a first-time applicant and applying for both at the same time — Adults: $120; Minors: $95.
If you already have your passport and just want the convenience of the passport card, the cost is only $20 for adults.
Since the passport card is just a scaled down version of the traditional passport, the same documents — birth certificate, etc. — must be shown to qualify to receive it. However, those who already have a traditional passport can apply for the new card through the mail accompanied by 2 photos and the traditional passport.
Given the propensity for things to get lost in the mail, mailing the traditional passport with the application is a scary proposition but hopefully it won’t take too long.
Just don’t count on it for any late summer getaways. Though production of the new passport cards started on July 14, 2008, there have already been 350,000+ applications received. The State Department is cautioning those who put in their orders before July 14 to not expect their cards until sometime in September.
It’s nice to know that finally after all these months of making travel a tedious ordeal, somebody’s finally thinking of the traveler.

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  • Texano78704
    July 29, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Sounds very convenient, although the idea of a quick trip to the supermercado across the border no longer holds that same appeal it once did.
    Do you think you could use for a trip to Cuba?

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