Author Topic: passport card or book  (Read 3089 times)

Emilyngh

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passport card or book
« on: January 28, 2014, 11:45:10 AM »
We are going on a cruise to Bermuda with our family.   We need passports.   Our options are (1) bring photo ids and birth certificates for the cost of possibly new birth certificates-I have to check, (2) renew our full passports ($110x2 + $135), (3) get passport cards ($30x2 +$55).

The disadvantages of the id and birth certificate include getting legal copies of our birth certificates, the possibility of hassles with last names not matching due to marriage, and if we have an emergency and have to get a full passport it will take more time than if we at least have the cards.   The disadvantages of using passport cards, as I understand is just if there were an emergency we could not fly back into the US with them (only good getting in from the boat).   I'm waffling regarding whether extra expense of the full passport is worth it (just basically wasted insurance?), but do think that getting cards vs risking birth certificate hassles may be worth it.   Am I missing something and other thoughts?

edited because costs were off slightly
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 04:54:21 PM by Emilyngh »

beltim

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Re: passport card or book
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 11:55:39 AM »
We are going on a cruise to Bermuda with our family.   We need passports.   Our options are (1) bring photo ids and birth certificates for the cost of possibly new birth certificates-I have to check, (2) renew our full passports ($110x3), (3) get passport cards ($55x3).

The disadvantages of the id and birth certificate include getting legal copies of our birth certificates, the possibility of hassles with last names not matching due to marriage, and if we have an emergency and have to get a full passport it will take more time than if we at least have the cards.   The disadvantages of using passport cards, as I understand is just if there were an emergency we could not fly back into the US with them (only good getting in from the boat).   I'm waffling regarding whether extra expense of the full passport is worth it (just basically wasted insurance?), but do think that getting cards vs risking birth certificate hassles may be worth it.   Am I missing something and other thoughts?

Will you be traveling anywhere that requires a regular passport in the next 10 years?  If so, you might as well get that now and avoid the expense of getting both.

Emilyngh

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Re: passport card or book
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 04:33:46 PM »


Will you be traveling anywhere that requires a regular passport in the next 10 years?  If so, you might as well get that now and avoid the expense of getting both.

Not that we're currently planning.   I actually don't like to travel, we've traveled a good but already, and we have a toddler, so I wouldn't count on it.

golfer44

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Re: passport card or book
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 04:38:56 PM »
I would suggest getting the full passport. You never, ever know if your parents/in-laws/siblings will be traveling abroad and fall ill and you'd want to visit them. You absolutely won't have time to apply for one, so I think it's important to have one.

dragoncar

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Re: passport card or book
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 04:43:34 PM »
I don't think the passport card is a good idea -- it's only valid for entry to the US from "Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry".

The reason to have a passport on a cruise is in case something goes wrong -- for example you get left behind and have to fly from one island to another (in another country).  Doing so without a passport is way more stressful.  Or say you have to fly home. 

But the passport card won't get you there, and it won't get you home by plane either.  Very limited usefulness, probably only for people living near the Mexico or Canadian border.

So if you want the "safety" of a passport, get the full book.  Otherwise, go with your birth certificate and make sure you get back to port way ahead of schedule.

Emilyngh

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Re: passport card or book
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 05:12:35 PM »

But the passport card won't get you there, and it won't get you home by plane either.  Very limited usefulness, probably only for people living near the Mexico or Canadian border.


Well, for us, the usefulness of the card would be that dh and I both have last names that don't match our birth certificates, and I would feel better knowing that any hassle this may bring will be handled before without the risk of not being allowed to board.  So while I know we could not miss the boat, I do think that the security of knowing that we'll be let on is probably worth $30 each, plus $55 for stepdaughter's ( I updated the amounts in the OP b/c I realized since we have old passports it will only cost $30 for cards for DH and me).   

What I can't decide is if it's worth another $80 ea for the security of being able to fly somewhere if needed, considering I don't think we'll use the passports again.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 05:18:18 PM by Emilyngh »