U.S. Backs-off Passport Regulation

Working through the governmental bureaucratic machinery to get a passport is hell, and new regulations mandating that travelers re-entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean carry a passport have only contributed to the madness.

But for those of you who are still waiting on your ticket-to-ride, with travel plans on the line, worry not – that is if you’re traveling in the Western Hemisphere:

Responding to anguished travelers at risk of being grounded by a broken passport system, the government is expected to announce on Friday that it will ease its rules for summer travel in the Western Hemisphere, a Bush administration official said Thursday.

Under the revised procedures, proof that a traveler had applied for a passport not yet received would be enough for travelers returning from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda to present through September, said the official, who insisted on anonymity because the policy had not been formally announced. [The New York Times]

Bad news is if you’re heading to Asia, Europe, Africa, etc., and are currently sans papiers, you might just end up having to spend the extra cash for urgent delivery. If you are currently in a bind, your best bet is to contact your local representative – it’s worked for other travelers.

(Edited 06/08/2007)


2 Responses to “U.S. Backs-off Passport Regulation”

  1. 1 Mike June 8, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Without (hopefully) getting into a political discussion, I think any inconvenience bestowed upon travelers is far outweighed by the added security (no matter how small) of not allowing passport-less ne’er-do-wells into the country. This sounds like a bad idea to me.

  2. 2 dailytransit June 8, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Mike – Avoiding politics, I think the security of this system depends on the follow-through, i.e. whether customs agents are verifying that document-carrying travelers definitely applied for a passport within the U.S. prior to their travels. If they were in the U.S. before, then they’re probably not any more dangerous coming back in – that may sound a bit naive, but with the rigour of security checkpoints these days I just can’t imagine much slipping through (fingers crossed).

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