CROSSING CARDS: Documents required at U.S.-Canada border
A new border protection law that takes effect Monday doesn't mean drivers from Canada and the U.S. should change their travel plans. Under a key recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires secure trave...
A new border protection law that takes effect Monday doesn't mean drivers from Canada and the U.S. should change their travel plans.
Under a key recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires secure travel documents when departing and entering the U.S. and Canada.
The documents for land and sea travel include:
- A U.S. or Canadian passport.
- A U.S. passport card.
- A Trusted Travelers Card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST/EXPRES).
- A state or provincial enhanced driver's license, when and where available.
Requirements covering air travel went into effect in 2007. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said drivers may be assured they will be able to re-enter the U.S. once their identity and citizenship is verified.
"We're taking a common sense approach to get people into compliance," said CBP Chief Tom Coffield. "We're not anticipating any lengthy delays or long lines at the border because of that."
The CBP said U.S. and Canadian citizens who lack the proper documents are encouraged to continue with their travel plans but to obtain those documents as soon as possible to speed up future border crossings.
Laurie Skibicki, customer service manager at the Grand Forks Post Office, said applicant lines for passports and passport cards have been long since March, especially Mondays and Fridays.
"We cannot expedite the passport card," Skibicki said. "It strictly takes four to six weeks."
U.S. and Canadian citizen children younger than 16 arriving by land or sea from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean only need present proof of citizenship, such as an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a naturalization certificate or a Canadian citizenship card.
Lawful permanent U.S. residents only need to present their green card when re-entering. A passport is not required.
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