Passport cards are popular for those who frequently go back and forth across the border. Due to lack of address if you move frequently they tend to be less likely to be inaccurate or expired.

Is there any legal requirement that someone accepts a passport card if they also accept passports and drivers licenses?

  • 1
    What would they be accepting this card for? Employment? Background checks? What state?
    – Ron Beyer
    Sep 23, 2018 at 16:29
  • There's not any general requirement that I know of. There might be requirements that a passport card has to be accepted for certain specific purposes. Sep 23, 2018 at 18:03
  • @RonBeyer Which country? Which borders?
    – owjburnham
    Sep 23, 2018 at 21:46
  • @RonBeyer health care checks. Hotel check in. Employment? maybe. Background Checks? doesn't matter. State? North Carolina, USA is where I am in.
    – William
    Sep 23, 2018 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


health care checks. Hotel check in. Employment? maybe. Background Checks? doesn't matter.

It actually does matter, because there is sometimes a law governing the documents that may be shown for a given purpose.

For example, the I-9 form, for verifying someone's eligibility to accept employment in the US, has a well defined lists of documents that an employer must accept, and the passport card is one of those documents. A similar situation exists for Transportation Security Administration screening of air passengers.

On the other hand, laws concerning proof of age for buying various products will vary from state to state, and retailers may or may not be required to accept any particular document. In the case of alcohol sales in North Carolina, for example, there is a brochure that lists "acceptable forms of identification" on page 17 and explicitly says that "passports may be in the booklet or card form." But that does not seem to create a legal requirement for the retailer to accept passport cards, because page 19 outlines the retailer's right to refuse, saying among other things that "there is no legal recourse by a customer who you have refused a sale."

US passport law (22 USC Chapter 4 and 22 CFR parts 51 and 53) doesn't have anything to say about the passport's or passport card's role as an identification document; it speaks only of the more specific role as a travel document.

So the general answer to your question, appears to be no. There is no law generally requiring people to accept a passport card if they also accept passports or driver's licenses.

But in most specific instances, there may be a general requirement such as "government-issued identification" that includes passport cards in addition to passports and driver's licenses, or there may be a list that explicitly includes passport cards along with driver's licenses and passports.

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