Monday, January 30, 2012

US Passport Cards Available Online (pilot program)

The U.S. Department of State has announced it is conducting a limited pilot program allowing U.S. citizens to apply online for a U.S. passport card. The pilot will last 90 days (January 24-April 22) or until they receive 20,000 applications, whichever comes first. At that time, they will assess the merits of making the pilot a permanent option for the traveling public.

To be eligible for the pilot, you must:
  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Have a valid, 10 year U.S. passport book
  • Have at least 12 months of validity remaining on your passport book before expiration
  • Have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address
  • Have an e-mail address
In addition, to assist in verifying your identity during the online application process, you will be asked to provide your social security number, your mother’s maiden name, the emergency contact name on your most recent previous passport application, and the full permanent address listed on your most recent previous passport application. You should have this information available when you apply.

Essentially, you will enter all your current passport info, attach a digital photo, pay the $30 and you are done. You can apply from the comfort of your home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You cannot use this form if:
  • Your passport card was lost or stolen and you are applying for a replacement passport card OR
  • You require expedited processing of your passport card application OR
  • Your current biographical information does not match what is listed in your current passport book (e.g., name, gender, date of birth, place of birth) OR
  • You do not have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address OR
  • You currently have a passport card or a passport card application in process.
The U.S. passport card is valid for 10 years and allows you to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land-border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. The wallet-sized card also serves as identification to apply for state and federal benefits, prove employment eligibility, and visit federal buildings. The passport card cannot be used for international air travel.

For more information on the pilot, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.

Click here to apply online for a passport card.

So if you've put off getting a passport card because it's a hassle, this pilot program might be just the thing for you! (Tell all the Spring Break crowd, 'cause Rocky Point could use the business they bring, even though they're a serious embarrassment to many of us gabachos...)

I'm inclined to think they'll get those 20,000 applications way before April 22. What do you think?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain