US Passports Required Starting June 1, 2009

As of June 1, 2009 all US travelers will be required to produce a valid passport in order to enter the US. This is the final stage of the transition to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative secure document (passport) requirement.

Until June 1, 2009, US travellers will still only be required to produce ID in the form of proof of identity (drivers license with photo etc.) and proof of citizenship (such as birth certificate) to cross into the United States.

As of July 14, 2008, U.S. citizens were also able to apply for a U.S. Passport Card, which facilitates entry and expedites document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The card may not be used to travel by air. Otherwise, it carries the rights and privileges of the U.S. passport book and is adjudicated to the exact same standards.

US Passport CardThis new card has apparently been widely accepted by Citizens of the US with over 690,000 applications received as of the beginning of August 2008. The card has the same period of validity as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five for children 15 and younger. Adults who already have a fully valid passport book may apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay only $20. First-time applicants pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children.

For more information on the new US Passport Card, please visit the US Department of Homeland Security website at http:// travel.state.gov/passport/ppt_card/ppt_card_3926.html Make sure your US guests are aware that these changes affect their ability to get back home and NOT to enter Canada.


This article was taken from page 16 of NOTO's "The Outfitter" publication, Winter 2008 Issue

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