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Planning to go into Canada over Christmas week. Will I need a passport to get back or have they fianlized the law yet?

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Here is the latest from Dept of Homeland Security.

If your not flying, you don't need anything but your drivers lic. and birth certificate starting Jan 08. So, i just came back and only needed my drivers lic in early sept.



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

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.


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.

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Heard on the news 10pm tonite that as of Oct 1 you WILL need a passport again for AIR travel to Canada and Mexico. confused.gif

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you will for air, I don't believe you will need one to drive/walk across yet, but not sure. it's coming soon, just a question of when. I'd get one if you travel alot to canada, you're going to need one anyway soon, and they are good for 10 years.

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U might want the check with the State Dept. saw on the news this morning that you DO NEED A PASSPORT FOR TRAVEL TO MEXICO, CANADA....ETC. A new rule took effect today (10-1) that says you have to have a passport. Hate for you to be stuck in canada and not be able to get home, that would be awful for you to have to do all that fishing while you wait for your passport to arrive tongue.gif

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the new rule in affect today (1 Oct) is for air travel. Still only need a lic for driving.


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I was up in the Falls and the Fort to get my RABC and IJ-68 2 weeks ago and I asked the American Border guy when we need passports to drive across. He told me the start of 2008. I travel through there many times a year to fish, even for day trips so of course I went and got my passport processed. Have heard and read many different stories for the drive across senario for years now. Heading up there again this weekend and will ask both sides of the border and will report back. Hopefully I can report of good fishing on Rainy too!!!


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Crappie report-Big and lots!!! Boarder guy said by summer it will be manditory for passports to drive across. He said they just had a meeting about it last week. so....Passports by summer!!!

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  • 2 months later...


Blitz, where did you read about the summer.

On that address above it says

Traveling to Canada, Mexico and Bermuda by Land/Sea

Beginning January 31, 2008, the Department plans to move towards WHTI implementation at land and sea ports of entry by ending the routine practice of accepting oral declarations of citizenship alone.

Citizens of the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Mexico will need to present the following to enter or depart the United States by land or sea:

U.S. and Canadian Citizens

Ages 19 and older: a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate

Children ages 18 and younger: proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

Passports and trusted traveler program cards - NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST - will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel.

It's kind of confusing on that site because it lists Passports in the bullet, but then says "Will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel".

It doesn't specifically say that it is required as I read it???

Anybody heard anything different than passports by summer

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this was posted on the Customs and Border web site. If you don't like the answer it seems just wait a minute... Note the section that says "as early as summer 2008" so not sure what that means. But right now, looks like to me until MAYBE this summer, you can cross the border in a vehicle or boat with a drivers lic and birth certificate or some other form that proves you are a us citizen in lieu of a passport. AT LEAST for a while.


Home / Travel / For U.S. Citizens / Ready, Set... Go! / Land Travel /

see also:

in Land Travel:

Reference Material

New Requirements for Traveling from Canada, Mexico and Bermuda

(11/01/2007)Beginning January 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 19 and over will need to present a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, and proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, naturalization certificate or passport to enter the U.S. by land or sea.

A passport or NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST card will be accepted as ID and citizenship requirements. Border Crossing Cards will continue to be accepted documents for Mexican citizens to meet both requirements.

As early as summer 2008, all travelers who enter or depart the U.S. by any means (land, sea or air) will be required to have a valid passport, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST, Border Crossing Card or other acceptable document.

The State Department also intends to make available in spring 2008 a limited-use Passport Card, specifically for land and sea travel from these neighboring countries. In addition, several states including Washington, Vermont and New York are creating an Enhanced Driver’s License that will fulfill these new identification requirements. Ample notice of the exact date of implementation will be provided to ensure travelers can obtain the appropriate documents.

From what I can tell, this summer we will need passports or the WHTI equivalent. If you check the web site, it lists the states of Washington, Vermont and NY as developing new drivers lic that will satisfy the feds docs in stead of a pass port. Hopefully, MN will also.


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just released today

Border Security

WASHINGTON - The passport cards that Americans can use to travel to other nearby countries will have a technology that allows information on the card to be read from a distance.

The technology was approved by the State Department for use on the cards, which can be used instead of a passport while traveling to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

The cards will be able to be read from up to 20 feet away, in a process that takes just one or two seconds. The card wouldn't have to be physically swiped through a reader, the process that's currently done with passports.

But privacy advocates are criticizing the department for not doing more to protect the information on the card.

The Center for Democracy and Technology says the system is a threat to personal privacy, and poses the risk for identity theft.

The State Department says privacy protections will be built in, and that the chip on the card won't contain any biographical information.

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