Sweeping passport requirements delayed by lawmakers

| 9/28/2006

A conference committee has delayed implementation of a passport requirement for anyone re-entering the United States from certain foreign countries – including truckers.

The so-called Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was passed in 2004. When it becomes fully active, it will require all travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada to have a passport or other secure document to re-enter the United States.

The passport requirement was originally set to take effect Jan. 1, 2007. This measure delays implementation until June 1, 2008.

The House Appropriations Committee announced that House and Senate negotiators delayed the passport requirement until certain conditions were met.

Today’s Trucking reports that the delay came about to give officials time to develop a passport alternative, called the “PASS” card.