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After anxiously waiting for your new passport and passport card, it can be frustrating to open your package and find only the passport book inside. If you applied and paid for both items, where is the missing passport card?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Contact the National Passport Information Center right away if your passport card is missing. They will investigate and re-issue you a passport card if it was not properly sent the first time.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain why you may have received only a passport book, how to get your passport card if it was overlooked, and tips for avoiding this situation when renewing or applying for a new U.S. passport.

Why You May Only Get a Passport Book at First

If you’ve recently applied for a passport and received only the passport book without the passport card, don’t panic. There are valid reasons why this may happen. Understanding the process can help alleviate any concerns or confusion.

Separate Processing

One possible reason you receive only the passport book is that the processing of passport books and passport cards may be done separately.

The passport book and passport card are two different travel documents, each serving a specific purpose.

While the passport book allows for international travel by air, land, and sea, the passport card is more limited and can only be used for land and sea travel between the United States and certain neighboring countries.

Due to the differences in processing requirements, it is not uncommon for the passport book and passport card to be processed and mailed separately.

This means that you may receive the passport book first, followed by the passport card at a later date.

It’s important to note that there is no additional fee for receiving the passport card separately if you have applied for both.

Mail Delivery Issues

Another reason for receiving only the passport book could be related to mail delivery issues. Sometimes, mail items can get separated or delayed during transit, leading to the passport card arriving separately or at a later date.

This can be frustrating, but it is usually a result of logistical challenges within the postal system rather than an error on the part of the passport agency.

If you have concerns about the status of your passport card or if it doesn’t arrive within a reasonable timeframe after receiving the passport book, it’s recommended to contact the passport agency or use their online tracking system to check the status of your application and any associated documents.

Remember, receiving only the passport book without the passport card is not uncommon, and there are valid reasons for this.

As long as you have applied for both documents and provided all the necessary information, you can expect to receive the passport card separately or at a later date.

If you have any concerns or questions, reach out to the passport agency for assistance.

How to Get Your Passport Card

Contact the NPIC

If you have received only your passport without the passport card, don’t worry.

The first step you should take is to contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC). They are the official authority that can assist you in obtaining your passport card.

You can reach them by calling their toll-free number at 1-877-487-2778. The NPIC operates Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm Eastern Time and on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Eastern Time.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the NPIC is a part of the U.S. Department of State? They are responsible for providing information and services related to U.S. passports, including the passport card.

Provide Supporting Documents

When you contact the NPIC, they will guide you on the steps you need to take to obtain your passport card.

One of the key requirements is to provide supporting documents that prove your identity and U.S. citizenship.

These documents can include your birth certificate, previous U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship. Make sure to have these documents ready when you contact the NPIC.

Expert Tip: It’s always a good idea to have copies of your important documents, such as your passport and birth certificate, stored in a safe place. This can come in handy in situations like these, where you need to provide supporting documents.

If you need to obtain a passport card quickly, you may also consider using an expedited passport service.

These services can help you get your passport card in a shorter time frame, usually within a few weeks. However, keep in mind that expedited services may come with additional fees.

Getting a Replacement Card

Report Non-Delivery

If you receive only your passport without the passport card, it is important to report the non-delivery to the appropriate authorities.

Contact the passport agency or the company responsible for delivering the passport to inform them of the missing passport card.

They will guide you through the necessary steps to obtain a replacement.

It is crucial to report the non-delivery as soon as possible to avoid any potential issues or complications. Delaying the reporting process may result in further delays in receiving the replacement card.

Complete Form DS-64

After reporting the non-delivery, you will need to complete Form DS-64, also known as the Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport. This form is required to initiate the replacement process for the passport card.

Form DS-64 can be found on the official website of the U.S. Department of State. Fill out the form with accurate and honest information, providing details about the non-delivery of the passport card.

Be sure to carefully review the instructions for completing the form and provide all the required information. Failure to do so may result in delays or complications in obtaining the replacement card.

Once you have completed Form DS-64, submit it to the appropriate authorities as specified on the form. They will process your request and provide further instructions on how to proceed with obtaining the replacement passport card.

Remember to keep a copy of Form DS-64 for your records, as it may be needed for future reference.

Avoiding This Situation When Renewing

Receiving only your passport without the passport card can be a frustrating situation. However, there are steps you can take to avoid finding yourself in this predicament when renewing your passport.

By being proactive and following a few simple guidelines, you can ensure that you receive both your passport and passport card.

Check Application Status

One of the most important things you can do is to regularly check the status of your passport application.

By doing so, you can stay informed about the progress of your application and address any potential issues before it’s too late.

The U.S. Department of State has an online portal where you can track your application status.

Simply enter your application number or other required information, and you’ll be able to see if there are any updates or if any additional documentation is needed.

Consider Expedited Service

If you’re in a hurry to receive your passport and passport card, it’s worth considering expedited service. By paying an additional fee, you can expedite the processing of your application.

This can significantly reduce the waiting time and increase the chances of receiving both your passport and passport card together.

However, it’s important to note that expedited service may not be available in all circumstances, so be sure to check the U.S. Department of State website for the most up-to-date information on expedited processing.

By following these simple steps, you can minimize the risk of receiving only your passport without the passport card when renewing.

Remember to check your application status regularly and consider opting for expedited service if time is of the essence.

With a little bit of planning and foresight, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free passport renewal process.


While it can be frustrating to receive your passport book without the accompanying card, following up promptly with passport authorities can resolve the issue.

Make sure to provide all necessary documentation to verify your original request and payment for both items.

With the right information and a few proactive steps, you can quickly get a passport card sent out if it was mistakenly overlooked in your original application.

Safe travels with your complete U.S. passport credentials handy!

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