On June 1, 2009, all travelers entering the United States will be required to present a single document denoting both citizenship and identity.
According to information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), many cross-border travelers already have the necessary documents such as a passport, passport card or a trusted traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST), or an enhanced driver’s license (EDL) currently issued by the states of Washington, New York, and Vermont and the Province of British Columbia. The State of Michigan and additional Canadian provinces will be issuing EDLs in the coming months.
The document requirement already is in place for all air travelers, and applies to travelers entering the United States who were previously exempt, including citizens of the US, Canada, and Bermuda.
The requirement is part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative prompted by security concerns following the terrorists attacks on the United States in 2001.
DHS announced recently that all statutory criteria required by the initiative have been met so that the program implementation can begin June 1.