Renewing USA Passports - Renewing It May Be Easier Than You’d Believe
Posted in: All Inclusive Vacation
Most people are familiar with the traditional passport book that contains pages that are stamped upon entry to other countries. If the passport holder was over age 16 when the passport book was issued, it is good for ten years. If the holder was under age 16, the passport book is good for five years. When renewing passports, a person may want to consider obtaining a new passport card in addition to the passport book.
Premiering in 2008, the passport card quickly became a great alternative to those travelers that frequently crossed the border into Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean. This is a wallet-sized card that has no pages to stamp and is good for the same period of time a standard passport is. Current passport holders can receive the card as a renewal option for the low fee of $20.00.
The passport card is available to all U.S. citizens, whether they hold a passport or not. Current passport holders can get theirs by mail but will need to meet certain criteria in order to do so. These criteria can be found by going online and searching it out. Once the search is completed and it is found that an individual does not meet the requirements they can still apply for the passport card, it simply must be done in person.
Whether it is the book or the card that is being applied for, they both take approximately the same amount of time to process and send. There is a 4 to 6 week wait time on the card or book for the standard service and if expedited is requested, this may be accomplished in 2 to 3 weeks. The expedited service, however, does carry an extra fee. While an individual can submit their application via overnight mail, the passport itself will only be returned by first class mail through the Post Office.
The technology contained within the passport card itself is rather interesting. The card contains a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. The chip does not contain personal identification, but it links to a stored record in a secured government database. Customs and Border Protection inspectors access the card holder’s photographs and biological information as the card holder approaches an inspection station.
The card comes with high-tech security features, including laser engraving, that prevent counterfeiting and forgery. The card also comes with a protective RFID-blocking sleeve that is used to protect against unauthorized reading or tracking of the card when it is not in use. The card is as secure as current technology permits.
The $20.00 fee for the card, in addition to any others for the passport book when applying for a renewal, is an attractive feature in and of itself. Minors and adults alike are eligible to apply for this card when renewing their passports. The minors, however, have stricter guidelines when it comes to the card although the fee for theirs is lower than the one for the adults.
U.S. citizens Renewing U S Passports should consider obtaining a American passport card in addition to the traditional passport book. The passport card has quickly become popular, with over one million cards issued since its release. Though it is not intended to replace a passport book, the passport card is a convenient low-cost alternative for people who travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea.