For those who don't already have a passport, now is the time to get one. The federal government will be implementing new requirements for passports when traveling by air, land and sea by the summer of 2008. Currently, all persons traveling by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean are required to have a valid passport to re-enter the U.S. On Jan. 31, 2008, if traveling by land or sea, all U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, plus proof of citizenship, or a birth certificate. This procedure will include children. WHTI, or the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, is the result of the Intelligence Reform and Prevention Act of 2004, requiring all travelers to present a passport or other documents providing proof of identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. Acceptable documents that meet the WHTI requirements are: -- Alien Registration Card, Form I-551, issued by the Department of Homeland Security or other valid evidence of permanent residence status. -- Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) or "z-card" issued by the U.S. Coast Guard for U.S. citizen merchant mariners traveling on official business -- NEXUS. FAST or SENTRI cards are trusted traveler cards and an alternative to the passport for entry into the country by U.S. and Canadian citizens. Use is limited by the ports of entry accepting the cards. -- U.S. military traveling on orders -- spouses and dependents are required to present a valid passport when traveling into the U.S. Beginning the summer of 2008, everyone traveling by air, sea and land must have a valid U.S. passport or any one of the WHTI acceptable documents to enter the country. These requirements do not apply to citizens traveling to or from a U.S. territory. To obtain a passport for the first time, go in person to one of the 9,000 passport acceptance facilities (federal, state and probate courts and post offices) with two photographs, proof of citizenship and a valid form of photo ID such as a driver's license. Passports can be renewed by mail if the recent passport is not damaged, was received within the past 15 years, the bearer still has the same last name and, and you were 16 years old or older. For additional information and forms for passport renewal, go to http://travel.state.gov/passport.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location