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Monday, February 4, 2019

Whoops - Passport Card Renewal On the Road

I have a Passport Card, a Passport Book, and a Global Entry Card.

When I got my Global Entry Card, for ease of international travel, I was told by Homeland Security to use this card and not my Passport when traveling by ground transportation to Mexico and Canada.

I bring all three forms of identification on my travels.

I carry my Passport Card with me most of the time.

Ok - that the background


So, I head to Los Algodones Mexico for the day as I do each year.

I arrive at the Quechuan Parking lot and start heading towards the turnstile into Mexico.

I do the mental checklist before entering Mecico and since I knew had my Passport Card, I said to myself Oh, since I have my passport card, I really don’t need to go back to the truck/camper and get my Global Entry Card.

In Mecico, I buy some gifts, had lunch and headed back to the border.  I was in line to enter the US, and this is the first time I’ve gone to Mexico since Trump’s increased security, and I see the newly placed razor wire on top of the fence.

Then I see two Border Guards at the entrance to the turnstile back to the US.  I recognize that this is different than previous years.  They are prechecking Identificaton.  I take my Passport Card out of my wallet and immediately noticed my Passport Card expired in December.  My heart sinks. They just see the card and not the date. I pass along knowing a more detailed check is ahead of me.

Oh well, I know they have to let me into the US, even without a Passport, although they could detain me.  Heck, when I fly back to US now and land in the USA I use a Global Entry kiosk where I undergo facial recognition and fingerprint recognition after sliding my Passport Book through a scan.  I’ve been vetted so many ways.  

I even have my newly issued Massachusetts Drivers License with the gold star in the corner called a “Enhanced Security” Drivers License to allow it to be used as an official ID to get through TSA to fly, or be allied in Federal Buildings.

I figured that since I’m vetted so many ways they will have no trouble verifying my citizenship.

I get to the border guard doing the detail check and he scans my Passport Card and looks st the card and tells me to have a good day.  No bells went off when my expired card was scanned!  If he did see the expiration he didn’t say anything.  I had expected some backlash.  

Forward a couple weeks.


I visit my son and family in San Diego after my trip to Mexico so I decide to apply for a new Passport Card while I’m there.

I filled out the online form, printed it at my son’s hous, and put in an envelope.

In the envelope I place a check for the card.

I go to CVS, now in Tucson and get my Passport photo

Then I mail it with tracking.

With the renewal application done and sent, I know I’m still good to enter Mexico or Canada with my Global Entry Card or my Passport Book, until I link up with my Passport Card again in the future.


1 comment:

  1. This came in a timely fashion for me, as I went to Los Algodones today, I got to use my American passport for the first time. So glad you got through with no problem on your last trip.