Travelers can ask for passport cards, starting February 1

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Vermonters can start applying for passport cards February 1 that can be used as alternatives to passports when traveling to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The wallet-sized cards will be available to U.S. citizens by this spring.

They will cost $45 for adults and $35 for children.

They are cheaper than a regular passport, and adults who have passports will have to pay only $20.

They will be accepted for land and sea crossings between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, but not for flights.

The new passport cards are being offered as part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

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