Now motorists who pass through border checkpoints will be subject to new rules for the types of identification U.S. and Canadian citizens must present to cross into the country, the Associated Press
Under the new rules, people will no longer be allowed to simply declare to immigration officers at border crossings that they are citizens. Instead, those 19 and older will have to show proof of citizenship — a passport, trusted traveler card or a birth certificate and government-issued ID such as a driver's license.
The new rules also require that all cross-border truck drivers meet certain eligibility requirements and pay a five-year FAST (Free and Secure Trade) membership fee.
Congress approved the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative in 2004, which requires verified citizenship and identification of all those entering the country from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The passport requirement for land and sea crossings has been delayed until June 2009.
According to the AP
, new passport cards the size of credit cards will allow citizens to cross the U.S.-Mexican border effectively and efficiently. Processing will take three to four months. Cards without previously issued passports will cost $45 for adults and $20 for those with passports.
For a complete list of participating locations, eligibility requirements and application information, visit cbp.gov
and click the on the Trusted Traveler Program.