Will I Need a Passport or Don't I?

George Hobica, October 12, 2006
Fares from Washington DC:

    You have every right to be confused. I am too. An October 3, 2006 posting on the US State Department's Web site discussing the new requirements, reads "this information does not reflect important changes...expected from pending legislation. Will we update this page once that legislation has been finalized." So you're right, that's not much help. The new legislation would require a passport for anyone traveling by air to or from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean beginning January 8, 2007. However, if you're traveling by land or sea, no passport will be required until.... Until when? The new deadline, set by Congress, is officially June 1, 2009. However, that's considered a worst case scenario, according to a report in Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, which quoted Frank Moss, deputy assistant secretary for passport services at the State Department, as saying that June 1, 2009 is the last "possible date" to implement the controversial plan, and that it could be "significantly earlier." Or, if history is any judge, it could be significantly later. But honestly, I don't see what the big deal is about getting a passport anyway. It's a very useful second form of official identification. What if you lose your driver's license and you need to fly somewhere domestically? You can always use your passport instead.

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