Documents soon to be required at all U.S. land border crossings

| Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Department of Homeland Security has issued reminders that as of Jan. 31, 2008, truckers, travelers and anyone else coming into the U.S. at a land border crossing will be required to have a birth certificate and photo ID or a U.S. passport.

Currently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers accept oral declarations of citizenship for U.S. and Canadian citizens entering the U.S. through land or sea borders.

DHS and the Department of State issued a news release on Monday, Dec. 3, announcing that beginning Jan. 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizens 19 and older will have to present a government-issued photo ID and a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship to enter the country.

U.S. passports will be accepted.

Information about obtaining a U.S. passport is available at www.travel.state.gov or by calling 1-877-487-2778.

Participants in the Free and Secure Trade program, aka FAST, will not be subject to the requirements for extra documentation, if they have their FAST cards with them.

Red tape and paperwork is nothing new for truckers, but the general masses have already expressed anger over such measures targeted at stopping terrorism. This year, DHS rolled out a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requirement that air travelers have a passport or other documentation for all travel outside the country.

The new restriction clogged U.S. passport processing centers and wreaked havoc for many travelers last summer, causing the government to temporarily suspend part of the requirement.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was recommended by the Sept. 11 Commission.

“During this transition, DHS and the Department of State are working diligently to minimize the impact on legitimate trade and travel,” the news release stated.

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