New passport rules begin
David Mannweiler - Indianapolis Star
A reminder to Americans who plan to fly in 2007: Beginning
Jan. 23, most of you will need a passport to re-enter the
A new U.S. passport costs $97.
The new rule also applies to air passengers entering or
re-entering the United States from Canada, Mexico and
Bermuda, and countries in Central America, South America
and the Caribbean.
Exempt is travel between the United States and U.S.
territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.
Some time before June 1, 2009 - the specific date has not
been decided - anyone entering the United States by land or
sea also will have to show a passport or a lower-cost PASS
card that is under development.
The sea/land restriction was supposed to apply next month
to returning cruise passengers and those crossing land
borders, but the cruise industry persuaded Congress to push
back the date.
The new passport provisions are part of the Western
Hemisphere Travel Imitative passed by Congress in late
September. Congress passed a law in 2004 mandating the use
of passports as travel documents.
The Travel Industry Association has createdwww.getapassportnow.com
to help citizens of the U.S.,
Canada and Mexico obtain passports and understand the new
The Homeland Security Department estimates 27 percent of
Americans have U.S. passports.