By 2008, Americans will need an official passport for travel to and from destinations that currently require only a birth certificate and/or photo ID (such as a driver's license). The sweeping new restriction, announced jointly yesterday by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security, includes many major cruise destinations, including Canada, Panama, Bermuda and Mexico, not to mention islands in the Caribbean.
Canadian travelers will have to present their own passports to enter the U.S. -- as will folks from Mexico and Bermuda.
The requirements will be phased in by January 1, 2008 at the latest. Here's the official timetable, as published by the U.S. Department of State:
December 31, 2005 -- Passport or other accepted document required for all travel (air/sea) to or from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Central and South America.
December 31, 2006 -- Passport or other accepted document required for all air and sea travel to or from Mexico and Canada.
December 31, 2007 -- Passport or other accepted document required for all air, sea and land border crossings.
For information on obtaining a passport, click here:
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Don't Have a Passport? Time to Get One!
April 6, 2005