Passport Cards

14 Jul

Add this to the potpourri of border crossing identification options available to people crossing between the US and Canada by land.

The Passport card is $20 for current Passport holders as a renewal, or $45 as a new document for adults, and $35 for kids. It is valid proof of citizenship for land and sea border crossings to Canada and Mexico, and the RFID chip inside it will activate information stored on DHS computers – it will not, itself, contain any identification information.

I hadn’t heard anything about it in our local media after seeing an ad for it in the post office downtown. It’s about half the price of a proper passport.

10 Responses to “Passport Cards”

  1. hank July 14, 2008 at 7:34 am #

    Alan, you made no mention of

    Was this what the whiners of WNY wanted instead of carrying a passport like all the other humans on the planet when crossing borders?

    Are you proud that the whining made DHS, and the government just a little bit bigger than it was, and god only knows how many taxpayer dollars were spent creating this card to placate the WNY whiners?

    I agree passports are steep priced and that is something the government can fix. But a Passport Card is still not a Passport. How long until fakes are found out there? WIll DHS or Canada Customs swipe every one of these cards when crossing the border?

    Millions spent (likely), usefulness of card–ZERO

  2. Buffalopundit July 14, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    1. All other humans on the planet don’t have to carry passports. Throughout the rest of the world, people are given identification cards that double as proof of citizenship. Oftentimes, these IDs are enough to cross contiguous borders. Also, citizens within Schengen borders do not have to show a passport to cross international boundaries.

    2. $45 < $97, and it is a very big difference for someone who lives within, say, 100 miles of a border than for someone who lives in, say, Kansas.

    3. A passport card is enough to get someone across the Canadian border, and that’s what’s significant here. Will they swipe every one? Probably not, since they have a bar code and RFID chip and don’t need swiping. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fakes out there, just as there are plenty of fake passports, driver’s licenses, Green Cards, SS cards, etc. ad infinitum.

    I don’t know if you’ve tried fitting a passport in your wallet, but it’s inconvenient, at best. And if I decide on a spur of the moment to grab lunch in Fort Erie, I no longer have to worry about whether I have my passport on me. I say it’s a win all around.

  3. Paul July 14, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    The City of Buffalo now issues a birth certificate in a laminated credit card size, that has your photograph, a hologram of the seal of the city of Buffalo, a thumb print and bar code with security information. It is a valid proof of citizenship, it is accepted at least for now at the border crossings. Its available at City Hall. It took me less than 10 min for them to photograph me and hand me the card. It looks very difficult to forge with the holograms. And its only $25. Much more convenient than lugging around a passport.

    By the way Hank. You are an a**

  4. Mike In WNY July 14, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    It is the patriotic duty of every American to boycott and ID containing RFID chips. It sickens me to no end that people are just accepting a program that facilitates the tracking of people.

  5. long-time expat July 14, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    Re the Buffalo birth certificate: all well and good provided one 1) was born in Buffalo and 2) still has the same birth name. For a substantial percentage of the population (i.e., women who change their names at some point in their lives) point 2 is not applicable. So do they have to carry their marriage certificates as well? Kinda defeats the purpose of the simple card.

    FWIW, our border crossing on July 1 went like this:

    Us: (handing over passports) Hello
    Customs Guy: How are you? Where have you been?
    Us: Toronto, overnight
    CG: Bringing anything back?
    Us: A bottle of wine
    CG: Just one? Fine. (handing back passports) Have a nice day.

    None of the fuss or bother the various Buffalo boards would have one believe is the norm. Now, TSA at the Buffalo airport is a whole nuther animal…

  6. Jon Splett July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm #

    Can someone explain to me how this makes me any safer?

    Am I really suppose to believe terrorists won’t be able to cross the border because didn’t have an ID?

    All this does is inconvenience a massive amount of people in hopes terrorists are too retarded to figure out any other way in to the country.

    9/11 changed this country alright. It made us into a bunch of paranoid pussies.

  7. hank July 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    So glad you didn’t tell me to kiss your ass–when someone is ALL ass as you obviously are, it takes too long and where do you start?

    @John–It’s NOT supposed to make you safer. It’s to placate the people who grew up not needing a passport to cross borders, and now want to whine about the cost of one. Betcha many of the people whining lose plenty of money in casinos, smoke 5.00 packs of cigarettes and hang out at places where beer is 4.00 a bottle or coffee is 5 bucks a cup.

    But to spend 75 bucks on a passport? Oh, go get fucked.


    I guess nobody in WNY ever wants to take a trip on a cruise ship. Passports are now REQUIRED. No Birth certificate, and no funky fucking card that is supposed to substitute for one.


  8. Greg July 14, 2008 at 4:54 pm #

    I have a question. My NYS Pistol Permit, which possibly required more verification of my ID than a passport (as far as I know passports don’t require finderprints for one thing), has my citizenship listed on it. Would that get me back into the US?

  9. Hotel key card printing July 22, 2008 at 5:42 am #

    That’s good news. RFID chip inside these passport will more secure the information processed as the information is to be handled through computers and not manually.

  10. Marcos February 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Well looks like the sheeple are letting the government do whatever they want to do. You guys didn’t wake up during 911 or when they passed the Patriot Act, which pretty much stripped you of all your rights. Guess you all are ready for the FEMA death camps, ohh I’m sorry, I meant the relocation and disaster preparedness camps under HR 645. Heck you all have really succumbed to all that fluoride in the water, which basically pacify s you.

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