New Passport Requirements Start in January

 - December 15, 2006, 11:19 AM

Beginning January 23 all U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens from Canada, Bermuda and Mexico entering the U.S. from within the Western Hemisphere at airports-of-entry will be required to present a valid passport. In lieu of a passport, U.S. citizens have been permitted to present a variety of documents to establish their identity and citizenship and right to enter the U.S. A driver’s license and birth certificate have been common forms of identity documents. This final rule, from the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, differs from the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on August 11 by finalizing new documentation requirements only for travelers arriving in the U.S. by air. The portion of the NPRM that proposed changes in documentation requirements for travelers arriving by sea will not be finalized under this rule. Officials said those requirements will be addressed in a separate, future rulemaking.