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02/08/2008

New Passport Requirements: WHTI


Below is a summary of The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative(WHTI), which will require US Citizens to have a valid passport for travel between the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

JANUARY 31, 2008
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, such as a birth certificate. DHS also proposes to begin alternative procedures for U.S. and Canadian children at that time.

SUMMER 2008
At a later date, to be determined, the departments will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have either a U.S. passport; a U.S. passport card; a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI; a valid Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business; or a valid U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders.

The implementation date will be determined based on a number of factors, including the progress of actions undertaken by the Department of Homeland Security to implement the WHTI requirements and the availability of WHTI compliant documents on both sides of the border. DHS and DOS expect the date of full WHTI implementation to be in the summer of 2008. The precise implementation date will be formally announced with at least 60 days notice.
Note: The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory.

For more information visit: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_2223.html


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