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US Passport card, or book?

  1. May 6, 2010 #1

    Chi Meson

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    We are going on vacation this summer to the foreign land of Canada, to see the two-dollar coin. We realized that we now need passports, all 5 of us, to get across this heavily fortified border.

    So now they have a passport card, which is not good for air travel. IT costs a bit less, but..., well it's not good for air travel, and we might go to Scotland sometime in the next few years.

    Question is, is there any reason to go with the passport card when one is going between US and Canada?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2010 #2


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    I don't know about the passport card, but be sure to get your cholera and malaria vaccines.

    Oh, and Moose bites, you'll need to take an anti-venom kit for those.
  4. May 6, 2010 #3
    Yeah because Canadians (myself included) hate it when you dirty Americans bring your nasty primitive diseases up here.

    NO!! It's a MYTH! Saw it on mythbusters one time!!!

    As for the passport card, I think if your going to be travelling to other countries other than Canada then just get your full passport. I don't know exactly what a passport card is (we dont have those here I dont think) but if it's not good for other countries, and you don't live RIGHT on the border or won't be travelling regularly to Canada then there's no point. A few years ago to get accross the border all we needed was a Health Card... now you need to have 50 different IDs get a strip search and sing the American national anthem.

    Just out of curiousity where you gonna be headed to in Canada... it's a pretty large place so saying your going to Canada just doesn't cut it.
  5. May 6, 2010 #4
    Passport cards are quite a bit cheaper than one's first passport booklet. If you intend to travel strictly by land or water then the cheaper option seems to make sense. If you are in one of a few states such as Washington, you can now get an "enhanced" drivers licence allowing the same privileges as the card.

    If you are honestly considering international air travel, then I would suggest the booklet. Even if you don't use it this decade, I believe they are cheaper to renew. Overall the only real difference seems to be the price and where they are applicable. I would imagine a card is not noticeably more convenient...
  6. May 6, 2010 #5

    Chi Meson

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    I was planning on going ahead with the book, but I wondered if the card allowed for an expedited crossing in any way. I've already had three passports in my life, and the last one just expired last month. Other than the fact that it can fit in a wallet, I don't actually see the reason for the card.

    And we are going to Cape Breton Island, all the way to the end of the northeast point, near a place called Meat Cove.
  7. May 6, 2010 #6
    I live in the beautiful town of Wolfville Nova Scotia, you gotta see this area, great B&B for families to stay up here.

    As for the passport/Id's, you can easily get into Canada without them (we are way nicer than you guys:rolleyes:) BUT you cannot get back to your home country USA afterwords. The borders/Immigration dudes will think you are lying and will almost certainly detain you:surprised and even fingerprint toddlers:confused:
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  8. May 6, 2010 #7
    I'm dealing with the same issue. The kids wanted to take Mom to Niagara Falls for Mother's Day. Unfortunately, we're about 3 passports short.
  9. May 6, 2010 #8
    You might be using the wrong border - it MIGHT be easier to get in from the southern border.:uhh:
  10. May 6, 2010 #9
    My friend, trust me and choose the books. Anything that isn't seen as standard tends to get more time, and Scotland is worth visiting. I have a friend who used the card, and it drove him to distraction. Remember, your kids get to have fun stamps to collect in the book, silly I know, but it can be something special I think.
  11. May 6, 2010 #10
    Why do you say that? Canada's border with the United States is much larger and more permeable.
  12. May 6, 2010 #11


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    Going north is generally pretty quick but nothing speeds up a federal government employee

    Passports were demanded to protect America from terrorist moose and to stop cruise ships starting Alaska cruises in Vancouver.
    Then somebody realized the state dept was only setup to issue a dozen passports a year and so they would have to buy a second photocopier.
    The card was a way of backtracking to just a drivers license without anyone losing face
  13. May 7, 2010 #12
    I am laughing out loud, truly at this! Moose filled with semtex trying to bomb the great lakes on the US side! {sound of a theremin}
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