Today was the entry into force of the new U.S. law requiring all travellers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, to present a valid passport or other approved secure document when entering the United States. TRAVELPRE Info thought it might be safe to make a return on the various documents accepted to cross US customs.
Travel by plane
If you are flying to or from the United States or over the country, you must submit one of the following documents:
– a valid passport; Yes
– A valid Nexus card, when used at a Nexus reporting position at a participating Canadian airport or at any U.S. airport.
These requirements apply to all Canadian citizens, regardless of age, including children.
Travel by land or sea
If you wish to enter the United States via a land border crossing (i.e. by car, train, for example) or sea (e.g. via a cruise), you will need to submit one of the following documents:
– a valid passport;
– a NEXUS card;
– Fast and secure shipments; Yes
– An enhanced driver’s license/a Plus ID card. (also called the plus license)
At land and maritime border crossings, Canadian citizens aged 15 or less are required to present only proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or a Canadian citizenship card. Canadian citizens aged 18 or under who travel with a school or other organized group, under the supervision of adults and with the consent of their parents or guardian, will only have to submit proof of citizenship.
Although the law comes into force today, the entry into force of these new measures should (with US Customs people never know!!) be done smoothly. Customs officers should be lenient for a certain period of time. Be aware that during the indulgence period you do not have one of the new documents requested, the access should normally be allowed to you but for the first pass only.
If you have to pass land customs in the next few weeks expect a longer waiting time.
Here are some past chronicles on the same subject: