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Is there any benefit for having a passport card?

Is there any benefit for having a passport card?

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Old Nov 28, 12, 11:45 pm
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Is there any benefit for having a passport card?

I searched and couldn't find an answer, so here goes...

I currently have GE with a GE card (expires 2017). My passport expires mid 2013, so I am going to send in the renewal now. I see there is now an option for a passport card. Is there any benefit to paying extra to get the passport card (specifically, any privilege on top of GE privileges)? Otherwise, if GE privileges are purely a superset of passport card privileges, I'll pass. Obviously, I'd like to avoid throwing money away

Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 12:19 am
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Originally Posted by aquaflyer View Post
I searched and couldn't find an answer, so here goes...

I currently have GE with a GE card (expires 2017). My passport expires mid 2013, so I am going to send in the renewal now. I see there is now an option for a passport card. Is there any benefit to paying extra to get the passport card (specifically, any privilege on top of GE privileges)? Otherwise, if GE privileges are purely a superset of passport card privileges, I'll pass. Obviously, I'd like to avoid throwing money away

Thanks in advance.
The passport card confers no benefits. It is simply a wallet-sized passport that can be used for land and sea crossings in the western hemisphere as well as a convenient ID wherever accepted.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by wesmills View Post
The passport card confers no benefits. It is simply a wallet-sized passport that can be used for land and sea crossings in the western hemisphere as well as a convenient ID wherever accepted.
So it sounds like it confers a benefit on someone whose international travel occurs primarily on cruise ships, allowing them to leave a passport at home and carry only the card.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 3:21 pm
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Also a benefit for US citizens who live near the border and cross over frequently to shop, etc (such as San Diegans going to Tijuana).
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Old Nov 29, 12, 5:12 pm
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I got one simply because I go to Canada on occasion and I can keep the passport card in my purse whereas I keep my passport in my travel wallet and I don't have to worry which I may or may not have at the airport
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Old Nov 29, 12, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
So it sounds like it confers a benefit on someone whose international travel occurs primarily on cruise ships, allowing them to leave a passport at home and carry only the card.
I suppose I took "benefits" to mean "additional benefits" like being enrolled in Global Entry has (that is, the ability to get through customs and immigration faster).
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Old Nov 29, 12, 6:47 pm
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TSA have problems with GE cards, so if you don't want them to see your home address, get a passport card. It's good additional ID in general. You could also show it to TSA even when traveling abroad where a passport is required, as a way to prevent the TSA employee from snooping and commenting on where you've travelled.
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Old Nov 30, 12, 7:34 am
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A passport card is no better than an enhanced driver's license for travel. If you live in Michigan (me), Vermont, NY or Washington you can get one. However I also have Nexus (which includes GE) that dramatically speeds up my crossings to/from Canada.
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Old Nov 30, 12, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by rubesl View Post
A passport card is no better than an enhanced driver's license for travel. If you live in Michigan (me), Vermont, NY or Washington you can get one. However I also have Nexus (which includes GE) that dramatically speeds up my crossings to/from Canada.
It is better, in my opinion, in one respect: A passport card lacks my home address which some of us here don't want the TSA or, frankly, anyone to have without a good reason. One example where I use it is at Target for age restricted purchases. If the register prompts for a date of birth, the Target associates insist that any driver license be removed from a wallet holder and handed to them. They then scan the 2D barcode on the back which contains all of the information from the face of the license, including address. Some bars in Texas do the same thing for "private club memberships" in dry/damp counties. I don't like that so I diffuse the problem nicely by showing my passport card.

(This might be veering well off-topic so I'll stop now. )
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Old Dec 2, 12, 4:48 pm
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I have no reason to get a passport card. In addition to NEXUS/GE, I also happen to have a New York State EDL. Got that when I moved my license from MA to NY since at the time CBSA required you to carry supplemental proof of nationality along with your NEXUS card to enter Canada... it was much more convenient than bringing my passport. The rules changed in 2010 or 2011, and now a NEXUS card by itself is acceptable into Canada so I probably won't be paying for another EDL when my license is up for renewal in 2014.
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Old Dec 3, 12, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by rubesl View Post
A passport card is no better than an enhanced driver's license for travel.
It is actually better than an EDL because driving licences typically expire every 5 years and need to be surrendered when taking up a residence in another state. Passport card is valid for 10 years regardless of where you live. Plus, it is easier to get a passport card because there is no need for in-person interaction at a DMV office.

A bit off-topic, but I found my passport card to be useful abroad as well. In Germany, a driving licence absolutely will not be accepted as an ID whilst the passport card usually will.
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Old Dec 4, 12, 1:10 pm
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I think for practical purposes it works better as an ID than a NEXUS/GE card as it says UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN Passport Card on the top, and lay people understand that a passport is official identification. I use it as my main ID for bars, hotels, and anywhere else. I don't think NEXUS/GE would be as accepted.

I second its use as an international ID as well. Being that it is a US Passport (card), many it tends to work well internationally where normally a passport book would be required. I prefer not removing my passport book because it is usually buried in the bottom of my bag below 14.3 other items.
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Old Dec 11, 12, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by König View Post
It is actually better than an EDL because driving licences typically expire every 5 years and need to be surrendered when taking up a residence in another state. Passport card is valid for 10 years regardless of where you live. Plus, it is easier to get a passport card because there is no need for in-person interaction at a DMV office.

A bit off-topic, but I found my passport card to be useful abroad as well. In Germany, a driving licence absolutely will not be accepted as an ID whilst the passport card usually will.
It is also slightly cheaper, at least in MI, over its 10 year life span where a MI DL would have to be renewed 2.5 times.
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Old Dec 21, 15, 8:48 pm
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Passport card--should we get it?

It's about time to renew our passports. Most of our travel is outside the zone the passport card works in, though--any good reason to get it anyway?
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Old Dec 21, 15, 9:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
It's about time to renew our passports. Most of our travel is outside the zone the passport card works in, though--any good reason to get it anyway?
It's a federally-recognized ID which is REAL ID compliant. You can just leave it in your wallet and use it when you need to prove identity without giving away your address.
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