Update: The US passport card can now be expedited by mail through the US Department of State, with emergency processing available through some (but not all) regional passport agencies. 

‘On June 1st, 2009, the rules governing travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean will change. Currently, only air travelers need a passport to re-enter the United States-land and sea travelers can use a photo ID (like a driver’s license), and proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate). In just a few short weeks, land and sea travelers will also be required to show a passport.

To make it easier for frequent travelers to carry the appropriate travel documents, the government has introduced a cheaper, wallet-sized passport card. Please note that the passport card is valid for land and sea travel only-air travelers to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean still need the full-fledged (and full-priced) passport book.

How long does it take to get your hands on a passport card? Try 2 to 3 months…there is currently no way to expedite a passport card, only a passport book. If you’ll be crossing the border after June 1st and you haven’t applied for a passport yet, you’ll need to apply for a passport book to make sure you have the appropriate documentation by the deadline.

Fortunately, expediting a passport book is easy to do. You have a couple of different options. First, you can expedite your passport through the US Department of State, although you will still have to wait at least 3 weeks. If you want to be absolutely positive that you get your passport by June 1st, a private passport expediting company is the best way to go.

These companies expedite your passport by delivering your application directly to the US Passport Agency, where it goes to the top of the stack for processing.  With a private passport expediting company, you can have your passport processed in anywhere from 24 hours to a little over a week, depending on how soon you need it.

Be prepared for June 1st-Expedite your passport today!