Take along your passport

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Tom

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Starting today, U.S. citizens are required to present their U.S. passport when entering/re-entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.

It appears that, in the short term there may be some leeway, but who knows how long that will last.
 

Marc L

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Hi Tom,

The change that is effective today only affect travellers who travel by plane.  Those entering US by land or sea don't need a passport until January 1, 2008.

Q: When will the travel initiative be implemented?
A: The initiative will be implemented in two phases. The timeline is as follows:

    * Phase 1: Beginning January 23, 2007, U.S. citizens and citizens of Canada, Mexico and Bermuda 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 passport to enter (or re-enter) the U.S.
    * Phase 2: As early as January 1, 2008, U.S. citizens traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), could be required to present a valid U.S. passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security in a forthcoming separate rule. While recent legislative changes permit a later deadline, the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements as soon as possible. Ample advance notice will be provided to enable the public to obtain acceptable documents for land/sea entries.

Quoted from: FAQs on New Requirements - CBP.gov
 

Tom

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Marc,

Thanks for that correction. However, I vaguely recall seeing a sign at the border in Algadones saying that February, 2007 was the date when entering by land.

I guess I should research it further.
 

Chet18013

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Heard a thing on PBS yesterday about it. Now, it's only by air, but will be all boarder crossing next year. We've been showing our passports whenever we go to and from Canada for 4 years now. It sure makes the crossing easier. We usually get the comment that we cross quite frequently--my wife was born in Canada and we visit relatives, accompanied with " Enjoy you stay". Coming back to the US I always hand them to the customs agent first thing and it eliminates most of the questions.

Chet18013
 

Tom

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We carry our passports too Chet. Like you, we've always found the border/customs agents to be polite, helpful and offer a "welcome back" comment.

While I was working, I traveled extensively, so there were always lots of visa/entry stamps from various countries in my passport. When we returned via (our) boat from Ensenada a few years ago, I couldn't find our passports that I had put somewhere "safe" when we left home 3 months earlier. The agent, seeing a little panic in my face, said "hang on, give me your driver's license". He made a phone call, then said "You're in the computer and you're good. Enjoy the remainder of your trip".

On our return from Canada by RV a couple of years ago, the agent noted all the stamps in my passport and asked what I did for a living when I was working. I explained and he replied "That explains all the stamps from middle eastern countries". I quickly corrected him, explaining they were far eastern/Asian countries such as .... and he said "Ah yes, have a nice day".

When we were contemplating a brief trip across the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls, I approached an agent coming off duty and asked if we needed passports to come back in. He said "No. But, if you think you won't be challenged with that accent...". I took the point and returned to the campground for our passports  ;D
 

Steve CDN

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I detect some frustration or opposition in news reports from some people about having to carry a passport when they leave the Country.  Passports have been in use for decades and people who travel carry passports without a second thought.  In addition it's the most positive form of identification for any type of transaction, particularly when in another Country.

What's the big deal about requiring a passport  ???    ???
 

Tom

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Steve,

I agree that it really shouldn't be a big deal. OTOH folks in the U.S. have been accustomed to using only their driver's license to enter from CDN and MX for so many years. The new regulation caused something of a rush on acquiring passports. This topic was meant merely as a reminder because of the new "no passport, no entry" enforcement.
 

2006F350

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Used to carry a passport when in the military as you never knew when you would need it. That didn't and still doesn't bother me. What grips my shorts is the $97 they want for the damn thing.
 

Bill (Trucker101)

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Steve said:
In addition it's the most positive form of identification for any type of transaction, particularly when in another Country.
I'm not sure what all is involved in getting a passport, but while I was a long haul trucker I used to cross USA/Canada borders on a regular basis and had a "FAST" Card. FAST stands for "free and secure trade" now to get this card I was interviewed by both Cdn & Usa customs agents & finger printed & a record check in both countries.If I ever did anything to get a record I loose this card & the privileges that came with it. So I think this is a very positive form of identification also. ;)
 

Betty Brewer

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Tom said:
However, I vaguely recall seeing a sign at the border in Algadones saying that February, 2007 was the date when entering by land.

Tom,
I visited Algodones on January 7, 2007, just a couple of weeks ago. The sign on the door to the customs office as we walked back across the border to the US read."  Passorts will be required for entry into the US in January of 2008.  It went on to say "Please do not ask the custom agent about this ruling."  It was about 1:15 pm and I had waited in line for one hour and 25 minutes , so I figure if each person engaged the custom agent in a few brief moments of conversation, my wait may have been even longer.
Betty
 

Tom

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Hi Betty,

As you and Wendy both pointed out, the date was pushed back by a year or so.
 

Steve CDN

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I used to cross USA/Canada borders on a regular basis and had a "FAST" Card.

I don't believe the speedy pass is a replacement for one's passport. If the speedy passes are continued, users will likely be required to have and perhaps continue to carry their passport.

The speedy passes are used by people who commute across the border such as in Windsor/ Detroit etc.
 

Bill (Trucker101)

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Steve said:
I don't believe the speedy pass is a replacement for ones passport. If the speedy passes are continued, users will likely be required to have and perhaps continue to carry their passport.

The speedy passes are used by people who commute across the border such as in Windsor/ Detroit etc.
Sorry,but the speedy pass your talking about isn't the same as a "F.A.S.T Card here is a link
FAST Card  that will explain what I'm talking about...
 

Steve CDN

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Bill,

Thank you for the link.  I used the word "speedy" in a generic sense and after reading the information posted in the link, my understanding of the service is confirmed that the FAST pass is used for specific frequent commercial travellers and is not a replacement for a passport.

 

Bill (Trucker101)

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Steve said:
Bill,

Thank you for the link.  I used the word "speedy" in a generic sense and after reading the information posted in the link, my understanding of the service is confirmed that the FAST pass is used for specific frequent commercial travelers and is not a replacement for a passport.

Hi Steve; The only reason that I mentioned it is because of being finger printed & criminal record check & interviews with both sides of the border, and ask the question " is the passport system this secure & thorough ?  ??? ;D
 

Steve CDN

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The only reason that I mentioned it is because of being finger printed & criminal record check & interviews with both sides of the border, and ask the question " is the passport system this secure & thorough ?

I see your point!  Perhaps not, but the purpose of the FAST card is completely different to be used under different circumstances.  Maybe passport applications should be given the same scrutiny.
 
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