No passport? No problem, at least for now: According to USA Today, the U.S. Department of State has withdrawn a proposed deadline of December 31, 2005 for implementation of new restrictions that would require Americans to proffer passports for travel to and from the Caribbean.
Back in April, the U.S. Department of State published a three-part timeline that would phase in the new restrictions for many major cruise destinations. The islands in the Caribbean (as well as Bermuda, Central and South America) would have been the first to require passports, followed by Mexico and Canada on December 31, 2006.
According to various media outlets, Caribbean tourism officials made a case against the preliminary deadline because they feared a blow to the Caribbean tourism industry, citing that countries such as Mexico and Canada would have an unfair advantage in welcoming Americans without passports for another full year.
Currently, Americans need to show a birth certificate and photo ID (such as a driver's license) for travel to and from the Caribbean, as well as Canada, Panama, Bermuda and Mexico.
A new timeline has not yet been proposed, though the U.S. Department of State indicates on its Web site that new passport requirements for travel to and from all of these countries will still be implemented no later than January 1, 2008.