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BRAND X/US STATE DEPARTMENT
INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS returning
to the United States will soon be faced with
new identification requirements. That’s
because starting on June 1, 2009, the third
phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel
Initiative goes into effect, as established by the Intelligence Reform
and Terrorism Prevention
Act of 2004.
The type of identification
you’ll need on and after June 1
depends on whether you’re traveling
by air, land or sea.
Passports are the only acceptable ID for
entering the U.S. by air, but are also accepted
for entry by land or sea. An adult U.S. passport costs $100 and is valid for 10 years. For
children under age 16, a U.S. passport costs
$85 and is valid for only five years.
Passport cards have limited use and are
intended only for entry to the U.S. by land or
sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the
Caribbean. The card is not valid for interna-
tional air travel. An adult passport card costs
$45 and is valid for
10 years. That cost is
reducedto$20 whencombined withanewor
renewed passport application. For children
16, the passport card costs $35 and
is valid for only five years.
Passports and passport cards are issued
by the U.S. Department of State.
Enhanced driver’s licenses, available in
a few border states, including Arizona,
Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington, are intended for cross-border travel by
land and sea, and are issued by those states’
departments of motor vehicles. Cost and
validity period vary by state.
Trusted traveler programs include FAST,
NEXUS and SENTRI cards issued by U.S.
Customs and Border Protection. This type of
ID expedites preapproved travel to and from
the U.S. and Canada or Mexico through dedicated lanes for frequent travelers. Cards are
valid for five years, and application cost varies
by program.—David Wight
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