Passports Required for US Citizens to go to Mexico or Canada? Western Hemisphere Travel InitiativeSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Passports Required for US Citizens to go to Mexico or Canada? Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
 


16 October 2006 at 8:29:44 PM
salon

I always thought of passports as needed when going to other countries that were outside of the continental United States. But the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will require:

In the proposed implementation plan, the requirement will be rolled out in the following phases:

  • On January 8, 2007, U.S. citizens traveling by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid U.S. passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document.
  • It is anticipated that on January 1, 2008, U.S. citizens traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid U.S. passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security.  While recent legislative changes may permit a later deadline, both the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to put all requirements in place by the original deadline.  Advance notice will be provided to enable the public meet the land/sea border requirement. 

Travel Documents for U.S. Citizens

Under the proposed implementation plan, the following documents will be acceptable to fulfill document requirements under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative:

  • U.S. Passport:   U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, and may also use a U.S. passport to when traveling  via sea and land borders (including ferry crossings).
  • The Passport Card (also referred to as the PASS Card):   This limited-use passport in card format is currently under development and will be available for use for travel only via land or sea (including ferries) between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.  Similar in size to a credit card, it will fit easily into a wallet.
  • We anticipate that these documents will continue to be acceptable for their current travel uses under WHTI:  SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, and the U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document.  As proposed, members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty traveling orders will continue to be exempt from the passport requirement. 

The Brownsville Herald had an article about that today about the mixed reactions Texans have to this.

Texans across the state and abroad have had mixed reactions to pending federal rules that say all U.S. citizens will have to have a passport or some other sort of citizenship identification — which doesn’t include driver’s licenses in their current form — to enter the United States. Following is a sampling of those reactions.

Applause erupted among border business leaders gathered at the Omni Hotel downtown on a recent morning, as Pete Sepulveda Jr., Border Trade Alliance chairman and director of the Cameron County Department of Transportation, relayed news from Washington: Implementation of the Western Hemi-sphere Travel Initiative might be delayed.

The day before, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in a teleconference, told the group gathered for the alliance’s 2006 international conference that he is not convinced the new passport rules won’t hurt the flow of goods and legal commerce across the border.

So, we would have to have TWO forms of RFID-enabled documents (Your Papers, Please) just to travel, say, to Canada and back.


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