Wallet-sized passport cards have been available since July 2008 for use when entering the United States from Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico at land or sea points of entry. This card provides a smaller, less expensive alternative for people who frequently travel between the United States and these countries.
Things You'll Need
- Adults applying for a passport for the first time and children under age 16 need:
- Form DS-11
- 2 Identical, recent color photos
- Evidence of citizenship and identification
- Application fee and execution fee
- Adults with valid passports need:
- Form DS-82 (if submitting by mail) or DS-11 (if submitting in person)
- 2 Identical, recent color photos
- Valid passport (if using form DS-82)
- Evidence of citizenship (if using form DS-11)
- Application fee
Determine which form you need to submit. Adults applying for a passport the first time--and children under age 16--must use form DS-11 and apply in person. Adults who already have a valid passport may use form DS-82 to apply by mail or form DS-11 to apply in person. For these adults with existing passports, consider whether you travel internationally frequently. Your passport book would need to be surrendered if the application is made by mail.
Obtain the appropriate form. Fill it out completely. Forms can be downloaded from the State Department Website, and you can even complete the form online before printing if you wish. Follow instructions on the application. Be sure to indicate in the space provided near the top of the application that you are applying for a U.S. Passport Card. If you are submitting form DS-11, do not sign it until you are instructed to do so when you apply in person.
Gather the required additional documentation. If you are using form DS-11 to apply in person, you would need to submit Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship, which would be one of the following: a previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport; a certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state; a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth; a naturalization certificate; or a certificate of citizenship. You also will need to present Primary Evidence of Identification at the time you apply. This could be one of the following: a previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport; a naturalization certificate; a valid driver's license; a current government ID (city, state or federal); or a current military ID (military and dependents).
If you are using form DS-82 to apply by mail, you will need to submit your valid passport. If your current name is different from what appears on your most recent U.S. passport, you also need to submit a marriage certificate or court order. Note that this documentation will be returned to you.
Submit two recent color photographs, which can be obtained from many neighborhood stores. According to the State Department web site, these photos must be identical, in color and 2 x 2 inches. They must be taken within the past six months, showing your current appearance. It should show a full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background. The photographs should also be between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. The pictures should also be taken in normal street attire, which means: uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily; do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline. If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig, or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture.
Pay the appropriate fees as outlined on the form and on the State Department Website. How and where you are submitting your application will determine the acceptable method of payment for your form. Note that form DS-11 requires separate payments for the application fee and the execution fee.
Submit the completed form along with documentation, photos and fees. For form DS-11, find acceptance locations near you on the State Department Website. For form DS-82, follow mailing instructions on the form.