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My passport book and card are expiring in 6 months, and I'd like to renew them, but I have a couple (land-entry) trips to Canada coming up that I'd like to use my passport card for.

Is it permissible to renew my passport book separately from the passport card?

The official website is unclear:

Yes. You can apply for both a passport book and passport card at the same time using either Form DS-11 (apply in person) or Form DS-82 (renew by mail - must be eligible). To apply for or renew both the book and card, check the appropriate box at the top of the form to indicate that you would like to apply for both products.

If you have a passport book and you are eligible to use Form DS-82, you may apply for a passport card as a renewal by mail even if it is your first passport card.

Please note: If you're renewing your passport book and passport card, you must submit both documents. If you can submit a passport book, but you lost your passport card, you cannot renew the passport card using Form DS-82.

It says I need to submit both documents at the same time if I'm renewing both, but doesn't say if it's required to renew them at the same time. (I could probably time an expedited passport renewal between the Canada trips, but would rather not pay the $60 fee if I don't have to)

  • Will either of your trips be long enough to renew your passport while you are in Canada? – phoog Aug 26 at 16:11
  • I don't know specifically about the US, but here in Germany you apply for the new document, but only give back (or invalidate) the old document, when you pick up the new one. – Simon Aug 26 at 16:50
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    @Simon - the document being renewed has to be mailed back with the renewal request (which can take 6 - 8 weeks for a normal renewal, 2 - 3 weeks for an regular expedited renewal). phoog - my trips to canada are a few days each, not long enough to renew a passport. – Johnny Aug 26 at 17:13
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    @Simon: In the US, you don't pick up a new passport in person - it's sent to you by mail. – Nate Eldredge Aug 26 at 18:21
  • @Johnny Nate ah, ok, didn't know that, so nevermind. – Simon Aug 27 at 6:12
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If you have a passport book ..., you may apply for a passport card as a renewal by mail

The use of the word "may" implies that applying for both at the same time is optional, IE, you may also not apply for a passport card renewal.

Everything I see on Form DS82 sounds like you can use this form to renew your passport book OR your passport card OR both.

For example, the form has multiple references to "U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card"

The U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card that I am renewing has not been mutilated, damaged, lost, stolen or subsequently found.

-

WHAT DO I SEND WITH THIS APPLICATION FORM? Your most recent U.S. passport book and/or card;

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Please select the document(s) for which you are applying:

  • U.S. Passport Book

  • U.S. Passport Card

  • Both

So you should be able to renew your passport book now by mail, and renew your passport card by mail later. That way you always have some form of passport.

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    The "and/or" wording seems ambiguous to me. One possible reading is "submit one or both, corresponding to what you want to renew", in which case OP can achieve what they want to do: renew the passport book by submitting only the book. Another reading is "submit whichever one you have, or both if you have both", in which case they cannot: they'd have to submit both even if they only ask to renew the book. I would really like to see a clarification of this from an authoritative source, not just our own attempts to parse. – Nate Eldredge Aug 26 at 18:17
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I have done this. I got a passport card, then a passport book separately via renewal (using my card to get the book). There wasn't anything special, just costs more in time, energy and postage to do them separately.

  • It does have the advantage that you always have a passport proof of identity on you. If the post office loses your passport, you can still renew both with the passbook without having to get all of your ID documents again. – RoboKaren Aug 27 at 0:39

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