Passport Confusion

MP News Staff

The last days of 2007 saw long lines at Post Office passport application windows, with many people falsely believing that application fees were increasing on January 1, and that the requirement for border crossing was changing on that day.

Although the fees will increase, no date has been set yet.  The present rules are that anyone traveling by air between the U.S. and Mexico has been required to present a passport or other valid document to enter or re-enter the U.S. since January 2007.

It is true that the new law was scheduled to have gone into effect January 1, 2008, requiring travelers returning by land or sea to have a passport, but the date has now been postponed until summer.

Another requirement that will take effect on January 31, 2008 is that travelers 19 and older re-entering the U.S. by land or sea will need to present proof of citizenship (a birth or naturalization certificate), as well as a photo ID.

At any rate, turnaround time for passports is still longer than usual, so apply now for any travel planned for this spring or later.

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