New Passport Requirements
By Christopher Wall
In an effort to keep America’s borders safer, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires all U.S. citizens traveling to and from Canada, Mexico, the U.S., Bermuda and the Caribbean to have a passport or other documentation that verifies the bearer’s identity and citizenship to reenter the U.S.
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) required the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to implement stronger border protection and security.
The initiative affects all U.S. citizens entering or reentering the U.S., as well as certain foreign nationals who are currently not obligated to present identity and citizenship verification.
The WHTI went into effect in two phases. On January 13, U.S. citizens traveling by air between Canada, Mexico, the U.S., Bermuda and the Caribbean were required to present a valid U.S. passport, U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner’s Document, NEXUS Air Card or U.S. Permanent Resident Card.
By January 1, 2008, a requirement for U.S. citizens traveling between Canada, Mexico, the U.S., Bermuda and the Caribbean by land or sea, may be implemented.
U.S. passports are $67 for ages 16 and up and $52 for those under 16. Passports may only be purchased at U.S. post offices displaying passport signage. For more information on the WHTI, log on to www.dhs.gov or www.travel.state.gov.
© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.
Hartsfield-Jackson passenger adheres to new passport requirements.