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New Border Rules Implemented for Travel from Canada, Mexico, Caribbean: What They Require

By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on June 01, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Tightened restrictions on the documentation required for travel were implemented today by the government, reported CNN. However, the start of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative's anticipated border ID requirements didn't exactly rock border crossings. Actually, according to the AP, they didn't appear to even put a crimp in regular traffic. The AP reported:

"Travelers said they had no problems or delays entering the country in Texas, Vermont, Michigan, New York and Southern California, and traffic was even light at the normally busy San Diego crossing."

The port director for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) even called it a "nonevent". Well, that said, travelers are probably still well-advised to travel with the proper documentation, to avoid any actual "event". Here's a quick list compiled form government sources on some of the documentation requirements for U.S. citizens and permanent residents:

Air Travelers

- All U.S. citizens traveling by air are required to present a passport book to enter or re-enter the United States.

- Legal permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States, including children, must present a passport or secure travel document when entering the United States by air.

Land and Sea Travelers

- U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

- Children below the age of 16 who are U.S. citizens can show the original or a copy of their birth certificate, or other proof of U.S. citizenship such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card.

- Lawful permanent residents may continue to present their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card and can get more information here.

The links below have more comprehensive information on the requirements and permissible documents for use in travel. 

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