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Thread: Passport Rules

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Passport Rules

    Here is the latest as we understand it to be from the
    U.S. Department of State Web site

    As of January 23, 2007
    U.S. citizens traveling by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda will be required to present a valid U.S. passport, Air NEXUS card or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document.

    On or before January 1, 2008:
    U.S. citizens traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid U.S. passport or other documents as determined bye the DHS.

    So, it would appear that passports are still not required for US citizens traveling by car/truck and entering the USA from either Canada or Mexico -- however, we recommend applying for and obtaining a valid passport if you anticipate traveling outside the USA (to anywhere) in the next few weeks!

    Mark

  2. #2

    Default Passports

    I agree with Editor, get a passport for International travel, even if not required. Two years ago, I took a cruise to Hawaii. On the way back there was a stop in Mexico (trip is International and cruise line can sell the tax free merchandise). Since part of the trip was, indeed, International, it was required that we go through customs and immigration to get back to our Country. After leaving the ship, there were 5 lines; 3 for passports and two for those without. My travelling companion and I got on the line at the same time (she had a passport, I did not). She had to wait for me for at least and hour and 1/2, before I got through the check in. When I finally saw her again, we compared notes, she got right through, no questions. I was given the third degree, Where did I work, position, home address, etc. Take the advice of Editor, get that passport, regardless of the "Official Rules"
    Richard
    Last edited by richc46; 01-19-2007 at 06:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Canadian citizen going to Mexico

    Unfortunately, because of that U.S. law, it takes forever to get a passport from the Canadian authorities. My passport is expired since April 2005 and I applied for one in early January 2007 but it looks like I won't be able to get it for February 3rd which is the date of departure for my flight to Phoenix. It is not dramatic since I'm crossing into the U.S. by car and flying to Phx from Manchester, NH (not from Canada) but I'm a little worried since I plan to go to Mexico by car. I know we are not required to present a passport on our way back to the U.S. but I just wanted to know if any Canadian citizen ever had any trouble getting back to the U.S. without any passport with just a driver's license and birth certificate?? I never had any trouble doing so at the Canada-U.S. border so it should be the same, but you never know. Last time I've crossed the border into Mexico by foot and back to the U.S., the guy at the American customs didn't even knew that Quebec existed, which totally freaked me out -- was he living under a rock or something? Every agent should have at least a basic knowledge of geography in my opinion). But I had a valid passport at the time so it wasn't such an issue.

    Thanks!
    Gen

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Expired Passports

    Why don't you take your expired Passport with you, Gen? Even if it is expired, it still works as a proof of ID and citizenship. I'm not sure if that will work after the new passport law takes effect in 2008, but it should work fine until then.

    Before I recently renewed it, I had been using my expired US passport (it expired in 2000) for crossing the border with Canada and Mexico.

    BTW, what's the renewal time on a Canadian passport? It took about 2 months for my US passport renewal last year.

    --Edit--
    D'oh! You probably don't have your expired passport, because you probably had to send it in with your renewal application! I'm not sure how I could have forgot that.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-20-2007 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Answered my own question

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default 45 days is the minimum

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen View Post
    Unfortunately, because of that U.S. law, it takes forever to get a passport from the Canadian authorities.
    I have heard, (from Canadian family members) that it is taking a minimum of 45 days to secure the Canadian passports these days. I think you might have a problem trying to re-enter the USA from Mexico without one... But I don't have any actual evidence to back that up.

    Mark

  6. #6

    Default

    Officially, there will not be a problem, but who knows. I would bring my birth certificate, drivers license, envelopes with your name and address, from Electric company, Telephone company, etc. An envelope from a gov't agency would be great.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default

    Thanks for all of your replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
    D'oh! You probably don't have your expired passport, because you probably had to send it in with your renewal application!
    I do still have my expired passport and bring it with me whenever I can. When a passport is expired you don't have any obligation to send it with your application for a new one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    I have heard, (from Canadian family members) that it is taking a minimum of 45 days to secure the Canadian passports these days
    Between 40 and 50 days to be exact, the delay used to be 10-20 days. At least I should have it for my next trip!

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    I think you might have a problem trying to re-enter the USA from Mexico without one...
    I read on the Embassy website that Canadians don't need passports to get in and out of Mexico with some exceptions, but I'd feel safer having one, that's for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by richc46
    I would bring my birth certificate, drivers license, envelopes with your name and address
    I'll order a birth certificate this week (sent the one I had left with my passport application) and I will have my driver's licence and health care card issued by the provincial gov't, and insurance card. I hope it'll be sufficient.

    Gen

  8. #8
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Raised Seal

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen View Post
    I'll order a birth certificate this week (sent the one I had left with my passport application) and I will have my driver's licence and health care card issued by the provincial gov't, and insurance card. I hope it'll be sufficient.
    Gen
    Gen,

    Be sure to request an official one, and not a copy. It must have a raised seal (gold leaf, etc) of your government in order to be considered legit.

    You might contact the US Embassy in Canada directly regarding this and see if they have any advice.

    -Brad

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Oh, well then don't worry!

    I do still have my expired passport and bring it with me whenever I can. When a passport is expired you don't have any obligation to send it with your application for a new one.
    Oh, well that's good news. If you bring that with you, I would be shocked if you have any problems at all. Honestly, I would bring that and not even worry about a birth certificate. A passport, even an expired one, is more than sufficant to prove citizenship - in fact, since it proves both citizenship and ID, even expired, I'd say it would still be a prefered to using a birth certificate and drivers license. Since a passport is not yet required for Canadians to enter the US by land, that really is all you should need. I understand the desire to use an abundance of caution these days, but I really don't think you'll have anything to worry about.

    Between 40 and 50 days to be exact, the delay used to be 10-20 days. At least I should have it for my next trip!
    Wow, I never knew the Canadian government was so efficiant. I don't think the turnaround time for a US passport has ever been less than a month. In the US they are recommending at least 2 months for a standard passport renewal, and that involves sending in your old passport. There are otherways to get one, and to get it somewhat faster, but you have to go through some extra paperwork and extra expense.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Delays

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
    Wow, I never knew the Canadian government was so efficiant.
    Yes, I have to admit it is pretty efficient, even politically, although I consider that we are getting a tad behind now since the Conservative party is in power but that's another debate.:-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
    I don't think the turnaround time for a US passport has ever been less than a month
    But we have a gap of a couple of million in terms of population. You guys are over 300 millions and we are only 32-33 millions! For us 50 days seems like forever!:-) I feel like it's getting harder to make decisions at the last minute and just GO on a trip. It used to be easy but now we even have to calculate the amount of shampoo we put in our bags. As long as it is for our own good we shouldn't complain I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad
    You might contact the US Embassy in Canada directly regarding this and see if they have any advice.
    I've tried to call the consulate in Montreal a couple of years ago to ask some questions and they wouldn't return my calls. I tried to go to their office but they didn't let me in because I wasn't an American citizen. I'd better call the Canadian Embassy in the U.S. I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad
    Be sure to request an official one, and not a copy. It must have a raised seal (gold leaf, etc) of your government in order to be considered legit.
    Yep, don't worry, I've ordered a great deal of them over the last few years so I know which ones work and which ones don't. I've learned one universal truth : the more money you send, the faster the certificate comes back to you. The delays are a lot shorter : 6-7 business days.

    See you for lunch in a couple of weeks!:-)
    Gen

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