Security Changes at the Border

December 22, 2008 2:08:45 PM PST
People planning to travel out of the country can expect some changes in the next couple of days.Rules are stricter and one important document is getting more expensive.

"You'll probably have it, even by the end of February..."

It was a quick trip to the passport office for Kathleen Heintz and her Fiancé because come June, there's a much bigger trip in store.

Kathleen Heintz: "We are getting married and going on our honeymoon and now we have to get passports to get back in from Canada so that's why we're doing it."

Passports have been required for some time, for people flying into the U.S. but starting Thursday those driving across the borders with Canada and Mexico can expect some changes.

Ben Romero, US Postal Service: "Up until they have been able to answer a few questions when they are crossing the border-- where have you been, where are you going, what state... and go on through. Now, it's going to be different."

Land travelers 19 and older will be asked for proof of citizenship such as a passport or birth certificate and a government issued ID like a driver's license.

Romero: "It's really coming back into the country that we are worried about. They may let you on the bus when you go to Mexico, but when you come back, you better make sure you have your paperwork."

Another change starting Friday, February 1st the price of passports is going up.

Adults will pay $75 dollars, children $60 an increase of 8 dollars.

There's a new option for those who enter the U.S. by land from Mexico, Canada the Caribbean or Bermuda a passport card.

The card is $45.00 for adults, $35.00 for children.

If you re-new your current passport book with the new "card" you pay only $20.00.

Romero: "There's less chance of losing it you can carry it in your wallet just like a credit card and it's less expensive."

You can apply for a passport card on Friday but remember, it is only for land travel within the western hemisphere.

So if you're flying overseas, you will still need a regular passport.

For more information on passport and travel changes call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-27-78.

National Passport Information Center
travel.state.gov/passport/about/npic/npic_898.html


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