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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Border Crossing Document Requirements

On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). The proposed rules requires U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or other travel documents approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

You basically have four options:

1. Passport cost $100.00 plus photo
2. Passport card cost $45.00 plus photo
3. Washington EDL cost $60.00 (your DL is $25.00 of that price so $35.00)
4. NEXUS cost$50.00 (Can’t use it to enter Canada yet)

Washington EDL: my personal favorite and suggestion, it is cheaper and fits in your wallet. You must make an appointment and the process is easy. At the appointment you must bring proof of residency (property tax form, utility bill, etc), proof of citizenship, and your Washington driver’s license.

NEXUS: is nice so you don’t have to wait at the border in either direction, but NEXUS alone is no guarantee for entry into Canada. The Canadians still may require proof of Citizenship. If you apply on-line you can have the card in less than three weeks.

Passport and Passport Card: in my opinion the Passport is only good for Air Travel. If you don’t fly it is a waste.

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