Passports Required Starting JUNE 1, 2009
As of June 1, 2009 all US travellers will be required to produce a valid passport in order to enter the US. This is the final stage of the transition to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative secure document (passport) requirement.
Until June 1, 2009, US travellers still only be required to produce ID in the form of proof of identity (drivers license with photo etc.) and proof of citizenship (such as birth certificate) to cross into the United States.
As of July 14, 2008, US citizens were also able to apply for a U.S. Passport Card, which facilitates entry and expedites document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
The card may not be used to travel by air. Otherwise, it carries the rights of privileges of the U.S. Passport book and is adjudicated to the exact same standards.
This new card has apparently been widely accepted by Citizens of the US with over 690,000 applications received as of the beginning of August 2008. The card has the same period of validity as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five for children 15 and younger. Adults who already have a fully valid passport book may apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay only $20. First-time applicants pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children.
For more information on the new US Passport card, please visit the US Department of Homeland Security website at:
Make sure US visitors are aware that these changes affect their ability to get back home and NOT enter Canada.
Travelling with Children
Parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. It is also recommended that they have a letter of authorization from the other custodial parent to take the child on a trip out of the country. Such a letter will confirm that the child is not being abducted or taken against his/her will. The parents' full name, address and telephone number should be Included in the letter of authorization.
When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as the children. Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. The permission letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or guardian. CBSA officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about the children who are travelling with you.
Other Applicable Websites:
Canada Customs and Immigration: www.cbsa.gc.ca
U.S. Department of Homeland Security: www.dhs.gov