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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > October
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 17, 2006


Department of State to Introduce Passport Card

To meet the documentary requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), the Department of State, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), today announced and submitted for public comment a federal rule proposing the development of a card-format passport for international travel by U.S. citizens through land and sea ports of entry between the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

The limited-use passport card will be adjudicated to the same standards as a traditional passport book. The rule published today proposes a wallet-sized card that would cost $10 for children and $20 for adults, plus a $25 execution fee.

To facilitate the frequent travel of those living in U.S. border communities and those traveling on commercial maritime vessels, the Department of State has committed to producing a passport card that incorporates cutting-edge technology. The technology incorporated in the proposed card was designed in coordination with DHS specifically to address the operational needs of land border-crossings. The proposed passport card would use long-range, or vicinity, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to link the card to a secure U.S. government database containing biographical data and a photograph. The card itself will not contain any personal information, and DHS will implement protections to keep the database secure.

The passport card is the core element of the PASS (People Access Security Service) System announced by Secretaries Rice and Chertoff in January 2006, and will secure and expedite travel to and from the United States.

The proposed rule is available for public viewing and comment at www.regulations.gov. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov or travel.state.gov.

2006/937


Released on October 17, 2006

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