In Brief

A new passport card system in the EU promises to reduce both hassle and expense

The autumn after I graduated from college, I somehow wound up in London with no wallet and no passport. The process of getting the replacement involved several days of waiting, a visit to a small business that seemed to make most of its money off of passport photos, and a dramatic cab ride to the U.S. Embassy where I had to pay for everything in cash (a tall order considering my wallet situation). In an era of instant communications, an unprecedented ability to track and identify people and better payment methods, shouldn’t there be a better way?

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