The Department of State (DOS) has announced that beginning February 1, 2008, U.S. citizens may begin applying for a new U.S. Passport Card which is designed to facilitate travel by U.S. citizens between Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The DOS developed this card to address the needs of U.S. citizens who live close to the border and travel frequently. The card contains a small radio frequency identification chip (RFID) which is stored in secure government databases. The DOS has stated that no personal information is shared by the RFID chip.
The new U.S. Passport Card is less expensive than a U.S. passport and more portable. For those applicants who do not currently possess a U.S. passport, the cost will be $45 for adults and $35 for children. For those who already possess a U.S. passport, the cost of the U.S. Passport card is $20. The card may not be used to travel by air. Otherwise, the card confers the same rights as a U.S. passport.