I like keeping a passport up to date in the firesafe.   I’ve had one continually since I was in the Army in the 80s.

Except I looked at my passport recently as it was an item on my plan.  Expired.  D’oh!  As I looked at the info on a few things popped out at me:

  1. a passport card is now available for land travel in North America (Canada, Mexico) for  59% less than the price of the passport book ($55 v. ppt_card_new$135). That’s a nice discount.

  2. A passport is valid for 10 years.

  3. It can be renewed by mail for up to 5 years after expiration, which would be 15 years after issuance.   Renewals are cheaper and less complicated than applications, so renew your passport before the magic 15 year mark.

  4. Passport cards are an even better deal on renewal, costing 73% less than passport books to renew ($30 vs $110)

So I rechecked my passport to see if I was under 15yrs;  nope, 17yrs.  ARGGGGGH!!!!  I started the paperwork for the application and kicked myself in the butt.  Something was sticking in my head, though.  There was something odd about this passport.  Why were there holes punched in it?

DING!  This was an old passport I had renewed and was returned by mail.  I might be in luck…..  back to the firesafe.   SUCCESS!  I do have a current passport, I just hadn’t destroyed the old one yet.  It will go into the next bonfire.

When renewal time comes I will opt for the passport card.  I used to think I would travel internationally but I don’t think that anymore.  There is so much bounty in North America that I haven’t seen yet…