US citizens planning a trip to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean need to be aware of new travel requirements that will become effective June 1st, 2009. After June 1st,  the days of being able to cross the border by flashing your driver’s license and your birth certificate are over.  US citizens traveling to these regions will need to show US passports or passport cards to re-enter the country…or else!

Right about now, your inner three-year-old is probably asking “Oh yeah…or else what?” What happens if you try to get back in to the US without a passport after June 1st? Will you be trapped at the border forever? Arrested?

Fortunately, the consequences for American citizens trying to re-enter the country without US passports after the deadline are not quite that grim. According to the US government’s fact sheet on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, travelers will “likely experience a delay as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers attempt to verify your identity and citizenship.” In other words, expect to be massively inconvenienced.

Being held up by Customs and Border Protection is no small matter…delays in getting home can result in having to pay extra for lodging, missing work and many other inconveniences. It’s also worth noting that if you are planning on traveling on a cruise or with a professional tour group, they probably won’t let you leave the US with them in the first place if you don’t have the right documents for re-entry.

So, please, don’t forget your US passports!

If you have a trip planned for Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean, the fastest way to get US passports is to use a private passport expediting service.  When you use an expediting service, you get the benefit of faster processing and more personal customer service. offers a variety of processing times for applications for US passports to make sure your trip stays on schedule. For the fastest service, order your US passports from us today!