July 23rd, 2011 at 7:32:54 AM permalink
In New York they call it an "Enhanced Driver's License" and it can be used at our border crossings to Canada instead of a passport. There is , of course, an additional fee to get it. I just use my regular passport.
July 23rd, 2011 at 11:07:29 AM permalink
It's an optional item you can get instead of, or in addition to, a passport.
The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air.
VALIDITY AND COST
Adults (Age 16 and Older)
Validity: 10 years
First-Time Applicant Cost: $55
Previous Passport Holder Cost: $30
Minors (Under Age 16)
Validity: 5 years
Cost for All Minors: $40
HOW TO APPLY
All U.S. citizens may apply for a passport card.
If you have a U.S. passport book and are eligible to use Form DS-82, you may apply for the card by mail. You can use Form DS-82 to renew your passport book at the same time that your apply for your passport card.
If you have never had a U.S. passport book or are not eligible to use Form DS-82, you must apply in person using Form DS-11.
All passport cards will be returned using First Class Mail. Passport cards cannot be shipped to you using overnight delivery.
To increase speed, efficiency, and security at U.S. land and sea border crossings, the passport card contains a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. There is no personal information written to the RFID chip. This chip points to a stored record in secure government databases.
With RFID technology, Customs and Border Protection inspectors will be able to access photographs and other biographical information stored in secure government databases as the traveler approaches an inspection station.
The passport card uses state-of-the-art security features to prevent against the possibility of counterfeiting and forgery. A protective RFID-blocking sleeve is provided with each passport card to protect against unauthorized reading or tracking of the card when it is not in use.
We began production of the U.S. Passport Card on July 14, 2008. As of March 2010, more than 2,700,000 Passport Cards have been issued to U.S. citizens.