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Previously, Americans returning from Canada by land had to present a driver's license and birth certificate to prove identification and citizenship. But as of June 1, Americans will need to present a valid travel document to enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean islands and Bermuda.
What's a valid travel document? A regular passport, a new passport card, a "trusted traveler" card or an "enhanced driver's license," which states the person's nationality. Children under the age of 16 will not be required to have the travel documentation.
Border guards began requesting passports as Canadians crossed into the United States on Monday as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative officially took effect just after midnight.
Anyone who doesn't have a passport will still being allowed to cross the border for the next few weeks, as long as they have such things as a birth certificate and picture identification.
But those without a passport will be given a paper that says: "Non-compliant. You are not in compliance with the secure document requirements that went into effect June 1, 2009, for entry into the United States."
"U.S. and Canadian citizens must present a secure travel document for entry into the United States at land and sea ports of entry."
...The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, an anti-terrorism policy passed by Congress in 2004, requires travellers 16 and older who are entering the United States from Canada by land or sea to carry one of the following:
* NEXUS card.
* Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card.
* Enhanced driver's licence (EDL) or an enhanced identification card (EIC) from a province where a U.S.-approved EDL/EIC program has been implemented.
* Secure Certificate of Indian Status (when this certificate is available and approved by the United States).
...There are no changes to border identification rules when entering Canada. Travellers with a valid driver's licence and proof of citizenship can still enter Canada from the United States without a passport.
Jun 01, 2009 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (22)
The American border tightens today – sort of.
Despite new documentation requirements coming into effect today, Canadians will still be allowed across the U.S. border without a passport or enhanced driver's licence during this summer travel season.
They'll just be scolded a little.
"We're going to be flexible, we're going to go on a case-by-case basis," said Joanne Ferreira, spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"Travellers that do not have the documents, they might face delays as our (border) officers will have to confirm their identity and citizenship," she said.
"But we're encouraging travellers to continue with their travel plans and to apply for their documents – if they don't have them, to apply now."
Originally posted by SpacePunk
reply to post by DimensionalDetective
It's only a matter of time until you need one of these documents to travel between the states, or by air.