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Old 05-16-2010
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Passport vs Passport Card???

Can anyone tell me if passport cards are valid for entry to Caribbean island nations? I thought that is why it was introduced. Since no visas are required, it seems to make sense. EXAMPLE: Can I enter the Bahamas on a sailboat with a passport card?

CL
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Old 05-16-2010
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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.

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.

HISTORY

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.

So to answer your question, from a boat yes, from a plane, no.
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Old 05-16-2010
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Freesail99 -
What I gather from your post is that the Passport Card can be used to enter the United States. The OP's question was about entering other countries, which in most cases I believe require actual passports. The Bahamas have traditionally been an exception to that, having in the past only required some ID like a valid driver's license or something similar to prove you are from the USA. That may have changed since you now can't reenter the States from the Bahamas without a Passport or, apparently, at least a Passport Card.
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Last edited by FSMike; 05-16-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 05-17-2010
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Appreciate both Freessail99 and FSMike's posts. I read the DOS website article above but wanted confirmation from one of you seasoned skippers if, in fact, a passport card was all that was needed. I read the Western Hemisphere Initiative and took from it that all Caribbean countries accept the passport card if you arrive by sea. I know it works on a cruise ship, how bout a private cruiser? Anyone know for sure?
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Old 05-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Freesail99 -
What I gather from your post is that the Passport Card can be used to enter the United States. The OP's question was about entering other countries, which in most cases I believe require actual passports. The Bahamas have traditionally been an exception to that, having in the past only required some ID like a valid driver's license or something similar to prove you are from the USA. That may have changed since you now can't reenter the States from the Bahamas without a Passport or, apparently, at least a Passport Card.
I made a call about wording on the web site and I was told rather bluntly that you had to show the Passport Card to leave the USA.... Meaning you had to use the card in order to leave the country and you need to use it to enter the country from the area listed and only those countries.

You do need a passport or passport card in the Bahamas. A driver's license is not longer valet ID.

"I read the Western Hemisphere Initiative and took from it that all Caribbean countries accept the passport card if you arrive by sea. I know it works on a cruise ship, how bout a private cruiser? Anyone know for sure?"

I don't know for sure. I assume that you can. I would call to confirm.
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Last edited by Freesail99; 05-18-2010 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 05-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail99 View Post
I made a call about wording on the web site and I was told rather bluntly that you had to show the Passport Card to leave the USA.... Meaning you had to use the card in order to leave the country
Freesail99 -
I have no doubt someone told you that, the only problem is that most civil servants are not used to the concept of travel by private yacht. This whole Passport Card bit was started by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). In researching this I can find nothing written down referring to using the PassCard to depart the USA by private yacht. Historically the US has not required private yachts leaving the US to do anything (when owned and crewed by US citizens), and I cannot find where that has changed. WHTI's main purpose is to address security as regards people arriving in the USA,not departing.
As best I can determine the Passport Card can be used instead of a Passport for any situation involving a private yacht in which a Passport would be required in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean nations, including the Bahamas (which technically are not in the Caribbean).
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Last edited by FSMike; 05-19-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010
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FSMike

I have to agree with you. Seems like a good idea for something to be used in places where nothing was required before.
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Old 05-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail99 View Post
-- Seems like a good idea for something to be used in places where nothing was required before.
LOL. God forbid that the government should allow some aspect of our lives to be untouched by paperwork.


cl -
Have a great time in the Bahamas if that's where you're heading. I'm jealous.
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Old 08-26-2011
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Smile Passport v Passport

Never sail anywhere without a Passport.
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Old 08-26-2011
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Exclamation Passport or Card ...

It was briefly touched upon by freesail ... should you have to return to the US by air for any reason, you will be out of luck.

I would hate to be stuck outside the US with a medical problem and not be able to fly home for treatment.
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