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 Passports

Air Travel

All persons traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States..

Land and Sea Travel

The following summarizes information available on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government implemented 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 a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document.

U.S. Passport and WHTI Compliant Documents:

U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air, land or sea between the U.S. and the aforementioned Western Hemisphere countries.
The Passport Card: Passport card applications are currently being accepted in anticipation of land border travel document requirements. Based on current projections, we expect the passport card to be in full production beginning in July 2008. We will provide additional updates as available. Once in production, the passport card it will only be valid for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda.

WHTI-Compliant Travel Documents for U.S. citizen travel via land or sea, as of January 31, 2008:
* Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
* State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available)
* Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
* U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
* U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
* Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
* Form I-872 American Indian Card
For further information see U.S. Customs and Border protection.

About WHTI
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), requiring all travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S.
The goal of the initiative is to strengthen U.S. border security while facilitating entry for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors by providing standardized documentation that enables the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler.

For further information on Passports please visit:
http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

For Frequently asked Questions please visit:
http://travel.state.gov/passport/fri/faq/faq_1741.html

Passport Cards

The passport card facilitates entry and expedites document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The card may not be used to travel by air. Otherwise, it carries the rights and privileges of the U.S. passport book and is adjudicated to the exact same standards.

The Department of State is issuing this passport card in response to the needs of border resident communities for a less expensive and more portable alternative to the traditional passport book. The card has the same period of validity as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five for children 15 and younger. Adults who already have a fully valid passport book may apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay only $20. First-time applicants pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children.

To facilitate the frequent travel of U.S. citizens living in border communities and to meet DHS’s operational needs at land borders, the passport card contains a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. This chip points to a stored record in secure government databases. There is no personal information written to the RFID chip itself.

For frequently asked questions about the passport card please visit:
http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppt_card/ppt_card_3921.html

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