US 'Passport Cards' Coming This Spring

Cheaper, wallet-sized card can replace passport for land and sea travelers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2008 9:18 AM CST
Traffic moving across the Ambassador Bridge is shown in an aerial photograph looking from the Detroit side to the Windsor, Ontario, side. Detroit to Windsor is one of North America's busiest border crossings,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – American citizens traveling by land or sea between the US and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda will have the option of using a wallet-sized card in place of a passport beginning this spring, reports USA Today. The handy-sized card is designed to make life a bit easier for border-area residents who make frequent crossings.

Travelers can apply for the new cards beginning February 1. Citizens who don't already have passports will need to show both a government-issued ID and proof of citizenship at the borders starting January 31. The new card is cheaper, as well as smaller: $45 for adults, versus $97 for regular passports—which anyone traveling by air will still need to have.