Boulder City Magazine® February 2007 Issue
by Ihla Crowley
Passports for Canada and Mexico
A friend told me the other day that passports are now needed for Canada and Mexico. Since I’m now offering a spa vacation to Mexico, I figured I’d better do a little research on the subject. Here’s what I found out:
Boulder City Magazine®
|As many of you know, until recently you could travel pretty freely to and from our nearby neighbors. Not anymore. The rules have been changed by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).
According to one website, as of January 23, 2007, “ALL persons, including 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 passport… .”
And, as of January 1, 2008, another wrinkle or two will be added you will probably need a passport if you’re going to these places by land or sea (including ferries), too. We’ll need to watch this carefully, however, because things may change. While recent legislative changes permit a later deadline, my source states that the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements as soon as possible. The second wrinkle is a limited-use passport in card format currently under development that 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. It will be similar in size to a credit card, and fit easily into a wallet. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
I guess I’d better point out the exceptions (we’re talking government bureaucracy here, folks). The current requirement does not apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory, such as Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and it is expected that members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty traveling on orders will continue to be exempt from the passport requirement.
Whew, researching this has given me quite an education. If you would like to become more educated on the subject yourself, you can go to www.travel.state.gov. This site seems to be official and contains a wealth of information.
I usually use Travel Guard International (www.travelguard.com), but a good site to compare quotes from 16 companies offering more than 100 policies is www.insuremytrip.com.
Learn more at www.driftersister.com.
Catch the wind…
Taste the rain…
And touch all of your tomorrows…
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