Travel requirements have been changing so quickly, it can be hard to keep track of what documents are required to go where. However, it’s important to stay up-to-date, since not having the correct paperwork can derail your trip! One of the common questions about travel requirements involves travel to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean, countries covered under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).
Do you need a passport for travel to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean? Currently, it depends on how you are traveling. If you travel by plane, you have to have a valid US passport to travel from the US to any of these countries. However, if you are driving or traveling by sea, you just need to carry proof of identity (like a driver’s license) and proof of citizenship (such as your birth certificate). No matter what method of travel you choose, it’s still a good idea to get a passport if you are leaving the country. What if you have an emergency and you need to fly back home? When it comes to foreign travel, it’s always a good idea to think like a Boy Scout!
Also, on June 1, 2009, the travel requirements are changing again. On this day, the final phase of the WHTI will go into effect, and land and sea travelers will also be required to have a passport to travel to Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean. The only exceptions are people who have other types of WHTI-compliant identification (such as the Enhanced Driver’s Licenses offered in some states) and children under the age of 16. A passport will still be required for all international air travel.
If you need to get a new passport quickly, consider using the services of a private expediting company. An expediting company can cut through the red tape to help you get your passport quickly and easily, in as little as 24 hours!