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Ned
01-18-2006, 08:29 PM
The Bush government proposed a new travel ID card for US Citizens to satisfy congressional demands that everyone entering the country, even U.S. citizens returning from day trips to Canada and Mexico, carry a secure identity document beginning Jan. 1, 2007.

The Department of Homeland Security said the new Travel ID Card would be credit-card size and less expensive than a passport, but would serve the same purpose for US Citizens returning from Canada or Mexico. The department said it might contain a computer chip encoded with biometric data such as fingerprints and would be resistant to counterfeiting, but they also said they haven't yet decided whether to include a chip or not, and what information to put on it.

The card wouldn't be available to Canadians or Mexicans, who still would have to produce their own passports or one of several travel cards the U.S. issues to precleared frequent travelers. A coalition of local chambers of commerce on both sides of the border opposed the new card and instead called for an enhanced driver's license as proof of identity.

We've discussed the passport requirement before on Tripso, for travel between the US and Canada or Mexico. This is a new wrinkle. What do you think? For US citizens, should we require a passport, travel id card, or an enhanced/secure driver's license to cross these borders back into the US?

Jason's Storm
01-18-2006, 09:22 PM
Maybe as long as it isn't as expensive as a passport,

~JS

Annette
01-18-2006, 09:33 PM
A passport is THE proof of ID. And while a new border-crossing card may allow US citzens to cross back and forth with Canada and Mexico it's not going to do any good for other countries. I say get a passport and make sure your bases are covered - it also allows more options for places to travel to.

In Canada there are no restrictions (for Canadians) to travel to Cuba for instance. However a valid passport IS required. Often we'll get calls from people who have seen ads for last-minute sales on all-inclusive packages to Cuba who would love to take advantage of the specials but don't have a passport.

Get the passport. When you look at the monthly cost of the thing over the valid lifespan of a passport it's not all that much.

Eileen Sellers
01-18-2006, 09:59 PM
It isn't a matter of where you are traveling.

It is a matter of who wants to come into the US. Those who want to enter the US need a passport. That includes any US citizen who wants to leave the country and come back. It doesn't include those who want to leave the country and never come back.


What's the problem? A passport is necessary.

john225
01-19-2006, 05:10 AM
Originally posted by Eileen Sellers@Jan 18 2006, 10:59 PM
It isn't a matter of where you are traveling.

It is a matter of who wants to come into the US. Those who want to enter the US need a passport. That includes any US citizen who wants* to leave the country and come back. It doesn't include those who want to leave the country and never come back.
What's the problem? A passport is necessary.
18117




Eileen, I agree with you, to a point. What if someone wants to go to Alaska, either by var or ship, and has to transit Canada. yet has no desire to travel to any other country.

I myself fall into this catagory. A large portion of Alaska cruises begin and/or end in Vancouver. I have no passport. I have no desire to go overseas on vacation. There are way too many things to see and do in this country, and new things come up all the time.

Why not have both? A national identity card that is used for crossings into border countries, if those countries are willing to accept such a thing, and a passport for all others?

Eileen Sellers
01-19-2006, 07:12 AM
Well, John..why make an exception for border crossing?

After all a lot of un-savory people come into the US from Canada and Mexico. In fact it is the border crossing that is our weakest spot.
So John, time for you to get a passport.

john225
01-19-2006, 07:59 AM
Tis not an option for moi, Eileen. I refuse to pay $60+ for something that will only be used once. Now, if I could use a passport as my drivers license, for medical insurance, etc. then I would. Unsavory types can also get into this country with a passport. A passport is no guarantee.

travel
01-19-2006, 10:44 AM
There are no guarantees, but passports are more secure and more reliable and (especially) MUCH harder to duplicate. A minimally trained document examiner can spot a fake passport pretty easily. Cards are much easier to duplicate, and safeguards are much harder to include in a smaller, wallet-sized card. Although I'm usually one of the people screaming about tolerance around here, I'm not inclined to do so this time. I whole-heartedly support the passport requirement, and I think that if you don't want to get one, fly to Alaska and don't get off the ship in Vancouver.

Annette
01-19-2006, 11:02 AM
This is what I found about the proposed card:
"The identity card, known as a People Access Secure Service or PASS card, will only be useful for people crossing the border over land. Those who travel to the U.S. by sea or air will still require a passport."

So it's great if the only travel you're going to do is driving to Canada or Mexico. Therefore where you're planning on going and how you're planning on getting there does become an issue. If you're planning on taking a cruise or flying out of the country at all then you'll still require a passport, no?

So I say get the passport, it opens up possibilities that are not available if you don't have it.

Ned
01-19-2006, 11:43 AM
I've been reading everyone's comments with interest.

I have concerns about the Travel ID Card turning into a national identity card. I'm against the idea of a national identity card and think the Travel ID Card will quickly morph right into it.

Driver's licenses are issued to state residents whether they're US citizens or not, so you'd have to have two different driver's licenses, one for citizens and one for non-citizens if you're going to allow enhanced licenses to be used as a limited travel documents. I think this will do nothing for security except make it worse and create confusion and havoc at our borders.

I'm assuming that the only reason for the Travel Card's existence is that it will be a lower cost alternative to the Passport. There's something here I don't understand at all with regard to the Passport vs. Travel Card.

If we're going to use these travel documents to help secure our borders, we're going to have to require the same background and identity information and identification documentation in order to get either one. That's only logical, isn't it?

Presumably, the cost of actually manufacturing each Passport or Travel Card so they cannot be easily counterfeited will be about the same, and even if not, based on the suggested fee for the Travel Card (I read $40 for 10 years in one article) it will be a small portion of the cost of obtaining either one.

So, I then ask how can we charge a considerably smaller fee for the Travel Card compared to the Passport. Why not just dump the idea of a second kind of travel document, which will only have very limited use, and charge a reasonable fee for a passport instead. That way people can get a passport and be done with it. With the passport they can travel anywhere, using any mode of travel.

Annette
01-19-2006, 12:08 PM
To be honest I'm having a hard time seeing a passport as being expensive. Sure it adds up if you have to get one for everyone in your family, but:

- A US passport is $97 (for a new passport)
- A US passport is valid for 10 years
- Price per month for a US passport is therefore roughly $0.81 per month.
- Renewal prices are lower by $30

In comparison:
- A Canadian passport is $87
- A Canadian passport is valid for 5 years
- Price per month for a Canadian passport is roughly $1.45 per month

Even at the $1.45 per month I have a hard time seeing that as expensive. I know people who stop at Starbucks and spend $5 on their morning specialty coffee every day, yet who balk at the price of a passport. Why is that?

What I haven't seen any mention of (I'm sure it's out there somewhere) is how long this proposed new ID card will be valid for. If it's cheaper than a passport but only valid for a significantly shorter period of time then you're still better off getting the passport.

missalf
01-19-2006, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by Annette@Jan 19 2006, 01:08 PM

What I haven't seen any mention of (I'm sure it's out there somewhere) is how long this proposed new ID card will be valid for.* If it's cheaper than a passport but only valid for a significantly shorter period of time then you're still better off getting the passport.
18193



And, would we have to set up yet another government agency to administer the ID Card? How much would that cost us, in tax dollars, in the long run? I agree with Annette, passports are really not that expense, and we already have the framework in place to distribute and administer them. The last thing we need is more government overhead.

Annette
01-20-2006, 09:26 AM
And then to add to everything is the problem you get when someone decides to publish an article full of bits of information and bits of conjecture:

http://www.cthotnews.com/reportages.php?sequence_no=7322

"Under U.S. law, the cards will be required by January 1, 2008, from all Americans, Canadians and Mexicans arriving in the United States over a land crossing."

No, no, no. The new PASS card being developed by the US is for AMERICAN citzens and is NOT available to anyone else. No one other than Americans will be able (or SHOULD be able to) get the US government to issue an ID card to them.

It says that Canada will be developing it's own version of the card, and that's just dandy except that I haven't seen anything from the US that says that they'll accept anything other than a passport for foreign entry into the country. They'll accept the new ID card for US citizens returning from Canada and Mexico by land crossing, that doesn't mean they'll accept a new ID card from Canadians at the same crossings.

BYOFT
01-20-2006, 09:37 AM
Why add another layer of confusion and bureaucracy? I think it is a stupid idea. If the cost of a passport is too high, why not still require the passport, but lower the fee a little? With so many thousands more people requiring them, the revenue (or cost of doing business) to the government could be balanced to remain the same.

I am in strong agreement that we need to secure our borders, and a passport is the worldwide recognized proof of citizenship.

Arkstfan
01-20-2006, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by Ned@Jan 19 2006, 11:43 AM
Driver's licenses are issued to state residents whether they're US citizens or not, so you'd have to have two different driver's licenses, one for citizens and one for non-citizens if you're going to allow enhanced licenses to be used as a limited travel documents.* I think this will do nothing for security except make it worse and create confusion and havoc at our borders.
18185


A significant number of states specifically require proof that a driver's license applicant is lawfully in the US. Once Real ID takes full effect all states will require this. Once it is fully implemented anyone with a driver's license will have established legal presence through the expiration date of the drivers license.

Annette
01-20-2006, 07:21 PM
But there's a difference between a resident and a citizen. I could be legally living and working in the US but not be a US citizen. I'd still have a US driver's license though. Just like my husband is a US citizen living and working in Canada, and has a Canadian driver's license but is NOT a Canadian citizen.

Ned
01-20-2006, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by Arkstfan@Jan 20 2006, 08:25 PM
A significant number of states specifically require proof that a driver's license applicant is lawfully in the US. Once Real ID takes full effect all states will require this. Once it is fully implemented anyone with a driver's license will have established legal presence through the expiration date of the drivers license.
18325

Thanks for reminding me about Real ID and how that will affect Driver's Licenses starting in 2008. I don't think Real ID will solve the dual driver's license problem I mentioned in my previous post. The problem is in the Bush Administration's proposal, that either the Travel ID card proposed or the "Enhanced Driver's License" if accepted in lieu of the Travel ID card could be used only by US Citizens, not US residents. So, if they allow the "Enhanced Driver's License", they're going to have to differentiate citizens versus residents on the card. I'd bet that's going to be very confusing (Each state license will still have a different look and while the same information will be on the license's face it can be in different places on the face.) and time consuming to check at the border, and will make the long lines at some of our highly used crossings impossibly worse. In addition, if they do that, I believe that residents are going to be unnecessarily discriminated against as the license differentiation will have them sticking out like a sore thumb.

That being said I have real (no pun intended, well maybe the pun was intended) problems with the process, proposed to date, to obtain a "Real ID" based driver's license or non-driver's license. According to what I've read, in order to get a "Real ID" based driver's license you'll need to bring a "photo identity document," document your birth date and address, and show that your Social Security number is what you had claimed it to be. U.S. citizens will have to prove that status, and foreigners will have to show a valid visa.

First, I'd be willing to bet that most people will use their current driver's license or non-driver's license as their "photo identity document". Do you see the irony in that? Use the unsecure license to obtain the secure license! Also what do kids do to get their first "photo identity document". According to recent articles the Bush government hasn't a clue about that question, and Congress apparently didn't contemplate children having this problem. The problem with that oversight is that children, just like adults travel on an airplanes, open a bank accounts, collect Social Security payments, and take advantage of other government services. In order to do any of that you're going to need a "Real ID" based ID. Talk about a coming boondongle!

Second, you're going to need to show that your Social Security number is your Social Security number. How are you going to do that? Your proof is essentially the Social Security card, the easiest to forge and most forged document the Federal Government has ever issued. I don't even have my card any more as far as I know. My parents got my number for me in the 1950's. I saw it once. It's a very plain card on flimsy paper printed in red and blue with my name typed on it by a SSA clerk using a manual typewriter. I could probably make my own that no one will ever know isn't an original. I have an old manual typewriter in the attic to type my name on it. Is this nuts?

I have other problems with "Real ID" to numerous to list here. I hope the Bush Administration can get its act together in time to avert a "Real ID" disaster. So far, based on newspaper and magazine stories it doesn't look good. Look at the RFID Passport disaster in the making with their unencrypted data RFID chip able to be read by anyone in close proximity to the passport. The Feds say you can't be more than inches away from the chip to read it, but people testing the chip say you can be 20 feet away and still read the chip. It gives one pause to wonder about the ability of these people to understand reality, and they're the same ones implementing the "Real ID"!

Arkstfan, keep those posts coming. They really make you think.

Arkstfan
01-22-2006, 09:57 AM
Right now Tennessee and Utah are the only states with the "driving certificate" fake ID drivers license. Those cannot be used to establish identity, board a plane or enter a government building.

Under Real ID the SSN has to be given and has to be valid but cannot be used to establish identity. The verification is this you apply for a license and give them a SSN. The state will then run a check through Social Security to verify that the holder of that number has not been reported dead, to verify that it is a valid number and to verify the date of birth matches. That's it. The bad part is that it is not set to flag if that same SSN has been used in the last week to get a license in New York, Florida, Texas and California.

Using a SS card is no more silly than using a birth certificate and drivers license which is the ONLY form of proof required for the passport (ie. the great gold standard).

At least Real ID requires that the birth certificate be verified and requires the applicant to provide proof of address.

It's all a game. If someone swiped your birth certificate as long as they are of the same gender and within a few years of your age how you going to prove its not them? And that is the cornerstone of the ID document program.

Eileen Sellers
01-24-2006, 08:16 AM
If the cost of a passport is too h igh, the simple answer is stay home. The cost of the travel will exceed the cost of the passport, which simply becomes part of the cost of the trip.

There is no reason to have a US identity card. What for?

Ned
01-24-2006, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by Eileen Sellers@Jan 24 2006, 10:16 AM
If the cost of a passport is too h igh, the simple answer is stay home. The cost of the travel will exceed the cost of the passport, which simply becomes part of the cost of the trip.

There is no reason to have a US identity card. What for?
18598

Hi Eileen,

I agree that the passport should be the sole document for all international border crossings. That being said, based on Bush Administration utterances that a Travel ID card, good for land crossings only at the US/Mexico and US/Canada borders would cost half that of a passport, even though the application process and required information would be identical, I believe the cost of the passport should be reduced.

By the way, the cost of travel from Detroit to Windsor Ontario, which many people living in Detroit do at least weekly, is only $5.00 plus a little for gas money for the 5 mile round trip.

Eileen Sellers
01-24-2006, 10:52 AM
Ned, I honestly don't think it has anything to do with the cost of the passport.

$70.00 for a 10year passport is $7.00 a year. Less than the cost of school lunch for 1 week. Who doesn't have $7.00 a year for travel...01cents per day. You can't walk around that block for that much. You sure can't fill up car with gas and go anywhere...

I think it is because we have and Canada has people crossing the borders who country of origin wouldn't be admitted to our country, and the ID card avoids that issue. Such as permanent residents.

Annette
01-24-2006, 11:18 AM
But the ID card wouldn't apply to permanent residents would it? They don't care where you live per se, they care what your citizenship is.

My husband is a US citizen living in Canada. He's got a US passport for crossing the border, and his Canadian Permanent Resident card which is required for re-entry into Canada.

Ned
01-24-2006, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Eileen Sellers@Jan 24 2006, 12:52 PM
Ned, I honestly don't think it has anything to do with the cost of the passport.

$70.00 for a 10year passport is $7.00 a year. Less than the cost of school lunch for 1 week. Who doesn't have $7.00 a year for travel...01cents per day. You can't walk around that block for that much. You sure can't fill up car with gas and go anywhere...

I think it is because we have* and Canada has people crossing the borders who country of origin wouldn't be admitted to our country, and the ID card avoids that issue. Such as permanent residents.
18625

Eileen, I agree that the Travel ID has nothing to do with anything except politics. Among US Citizens, however, who live near border crossings, and who cross the border regularly, outwardly it is about the cost of the passport and the Bush administration is playing them with the Travel ID proposal.

It's actually about change, and change is not easy for many people. People in Michigan and Texas, for example, have been going back and forth across the border for years with nothing more than a wink and/or driver's license. Now the big, bad government is going to force them to get, and use a passport. They don't want to do it, so they cite its expense, and now the Bush Administration is pandering to that untrue assertion.

Ned
01-24-2006, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by Annette@Jan 24 2006, 01:18 PM
But the ID card wouldn't apply to permanent residents would it?* They don't care where you live per se, they care what your citizenship is.

My husband is a US citizen living in Canada.* He's got a US passport for crossing the border, and his Canadian Permanent Resident card which is required for re-entry into Canada.
18634

Annette you are correct. According to reports, the ID card will only be for US Citizens and not for residents, permanent or otherwise.

Eileen Sellers
01-24-2006, 03:41 PM
According to reports, the ID card will only be for US Citizens and not for residents, permanent or otherwise.

If it isn't for everyone, then it's a waste of time and money altogether.

Arkstfan
01-24-2006, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by Eileen Sellers@Jan 24 2006, 03:41 PM
If it isn't for everyone, then it's a waste of time and money altogether.
18695


Non-citizens wouldn't need it.

They should have a passport from their home country along with the appropriate residency documentation or visitor documentation.

Would make no sense at all to create a passport light and make it available to non-citizens.

Ned
01-24-2006, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by Arkstfan@Jan 24 2006, 06:26 PM
Would make no sense at all to create a passport light and make it available to non-citizens.
18700

To my mind it makes no sense at all to create a passport-light for anyone.

Arkstfan
01-24-2006, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by Ned@Jan 24 2006, 07:17 PM
To my mind it makes no sense at all to create a passport-light for anyone.
18715

That's a different point. :P

Eileen Sellers
01-24-2006, 09:28 PM
To my mind it makes no sense at all to create a passport-light for anyone.

I couldn't agree more. If we are talking about security, then why try and make exceptions. The id card will become the new birth certificate, and easier to counterfeit I would guess.

mtp51
01-25-2006, 07:28 AM
I agree with Eileen.
Just get the Passport!!

oregtopher
01-25-2006, 08:09 AM
The Communists promised to get rid of the hated internal passport ID's. The first thing that Lenin instituted was the internal passport ID. Think about it.

Ned
01-25-2006, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by oregtopher@Jan 25 2006, 10:09 AM
The Communists promised to get rid of the hated internal passport ID's. The first thing that Lenin instituted was the internal passport ID. Think about it.
18745

Hi O,

I'm not sure I understand the point of your post. Are you suggesting that the requirement for a passport or possibly other travel ID for all international travel for US Citizens, including to Canada and Mexico, is going to lead to the required use of a passport or some other travel ID to travel domestically from state to state, or perhaps even city to city in the US, for US Citizens?

Gesualdo
01-25-2006, 08:37 AM
My grandmother's dentist is in Brandon, Manitoba, but she lives in North Dakota. Brandon is the closest town of any size. Should she be forced to shell out nearly $100 for a passport (which she can hardly afford) just so she can keep her teeth healthy? I don't think a passport should be required for simple day trips.

Jeanie821
01-25-2006, 08:37 AM
If they're going to require passports, they should make an attempt to expedite processing. I've been waiting for mine for two months. :angry:

Arizona Road Warrior
01-25-2006, 08:39 AM
I agree with Ned...for years, US citizens that are living at 'border cities' along the US/Canada and US/Mexico borders were used to going back and forth with their driver's license. They don't want to change and the government has failed to do their job on selling them that $ 70 for a 10-Yr passport...only cost them less than 2 cents a day.

Instead, they want to issue a Travel Card which means the government probably has to create another division underneath the Homeland Security Department, hired more people and etc. The reality is that it will expand the government, cost the taxpayers more money and etc. because people are unwilling to change their habits and spend less than 2 cents a day.

Eileen Sellers
01-25-2006, 09:22 AM
Should she be forced to shell out nearly $100 for a passport (which she can hardly afford) just so she can keep her teeth healthy?

The passport is good for 10 years..so $10.00 a year to keep your teeth health sounds like a bargain to me. Or she might consider getting a dentist in North Dakota.

There really isn't much good argument against a passport, not really.
Especially when national security is at stake.

Ned
01-25-2006, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by Gesualdo@Jan 25 2006, 10:37 AM
My grandmother's dentist is in Brandon, Manitoba, but she lives in North Dakota.* Brandon is the closest town of any size.* Should she be forced to shell out nearly $100 for a passport (which she can hardly afford) just so she can keep her teeth healthy?* I don't think a passport should be required for simple day trips.
18750

Hi Gesualdo,

I'm sorry that your grandmother may have to purchase a passport to keep her teeth healthy. I know that living on a fixed income can be very difficult. I see that all around me in Pennsylvania as it is everywhere. My wife is retired now. It makes a difference.

At the same time, I think we need to recognize the truth about the cost of the passport. It does not cost close to $100, a figure that many seem to bandy about. The cost of a US passport for an adult is $67, plus postage. You do need to pay to get the two passport sized photographs, but they don't cost much, and contrary to popular belief you don't have to have these photos professionally produced. They do have to be identical. (I believe we are close to having the State Department accept digital photographs as the passport document slowly evolves during the next few years, but that's another discussion topic.) The passport's term of use is 10 years, which makes the annual cost of the passport $6.70. (In Pennsylvania that's only $0.20 per year more than our driver's license fee.) That doesn't seem like an enormous cost to me and proper border crossing identification can help secure our borders.

Please note that some people do pay $127 for their passport, but that includes a $60 fee for "expedited" service to get the passport more quickly, if they need it right away for travel out of the country. Normally it takes 6-8 weeks to get a passport. Expedited service usually gets you the passport within 2 weeks. Maybe most people are getting wrong idea about the cost of the passport because they think it actually costs $127, not $67.

Yes, I know your grandmother is not a threat to anyone, but I do believe we need to follow this State Department plan and rules for determining our citizens' identity when returning to our country, for everyone, for our greater good. This is a pretty inexpensive way to help execute that plan.

Eric
01-25-2006, 10:14 AM
"Just get the passport" misses the point. The administration is taking one more step toward a hated national ID. Personally I don't see any reason for a passport to cross the world's longest undefended border--I believe that history shows that there are more nefarious people on our side already, anyway. And, although I spend more than a third of my time "on my passport" (I'm in Africa as I write this) I've already been inconvenienced: Maryland residents, my wife and I were camping for two weeks in Adirondack State Park and discovered there was an exhibition we wanted to see in Montreal. But not knowing the status of the current rules there was no way we could drive the 80 miles without doing a thousand-mile round trip home first. Not even border city residents have that problem. Who would think to bring passports on a US camping trip? Who would think of Montreal as being "foreign" when already nearly in its suburbs? The person who travels from the US to Alaska via Vancouver is right.

Ned
01-25-2006, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Eric@Jan 25 2006, 12:14 PM
"Just get the passport" misses the point. The administration is taking one more step toward a hated national ID. Personally I don't see any reason for a passport to cross the world's longest undefended border--I believe that history shows that there are more nefarious people on our side already, anyway. And, although I spend more than a third of my time "on my passport" (I'm in Africa as I write this) I've already been inconvenienced: Maryland residents, my wife and I were camping for two weeks in Adirondack State Park and discovered there was an exhibition we wanted to see in Montreal. But not knowing the status of the current rules there was no way we could drive the 80 miles without doing a thousand-mile round trip home first. Not even border city residents have that problem. Who would think to bring passports on a US camping trip? Who would think of Montreal as being "foreign" when already nearly in its suburbs? The person who travels from the US to Alaska via Vancouver is right.
18768

Eric, welcome to Tripso! Stay safe in Africa.

It's a shame you didn't just drive to Montreal. You would have been fine with your driver's license this year.

I understand the logic of your position, but I'm going to respectfully disagree. I don't believe that requiring the use of a US Passport for travel outside of the US is leading us to a national ID. If you don't travel outside the US, and the majority of US Citizens never leave the country, you don't ever need a passport.

Driver's licenses are one of the most easily forged documents (social security card is easier, of course) and most forged documents in our society today. I don't think it makes sense for us to use them as a border crossing ID. I'm against the Travel ID card. Why create another ID for travel since we have a perfectly good one now, and that, in my opinion, could start us down the national ID path.

Those reasons are generally why I'm in the group supporting the use of the passport for all travel outside our country.

If you don't think that Montreal is in a "foreign" country, think again. It may be close, but it's certainly not in the US. Ask any Canadian and you will learn just how much they are not part of the US, and that has nothing to do with the official province language of Quebec being French.

By the way, I game back from Alaska last summer via Vancouver. I had my passport with me. I don't think of carrying my passport while traveling is a big deal.

Annette
01-25-2006, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by Gesualdo@Jan 25 2006, 09:37 AM
My grandmother's dentist is in Brandon, Manitoba, but she lives in North Dakota.* Brandon is the closest town of any size.* Should she be forced to shell out nearly $100 for a passport (which she can hardly afford) just so she can keep her teeth healthy?* I don't think a passport should be required for simple day trips.
18750


As others have pointed out, the cost of a passport is significantly less than $100.

We (both Americans and Canadians) have become absolutely spoiled by having had the ability to freely cross the border without having to provide adequate ID for a very, very long time. And no, I do not think that a birth certificate and driver's license constitute adequate ID. By going across the border you are entering another country, with a different government, different currency, different rules. The freedom of movement we've had for so long has led citizens on both sides of the border to believe that they have a RIGHT to cross that border whenever and however they feel like this. This is an erroneous belief. Crossing into another country is a priviledge, not a right. What the US government is saying is that anyone (including their own citizens) coming into the country had better be able to provide absolute PROOF of their citizenship, and that basically means a passport.

For those US citizens who are complaining about it restricting their freedom of movement, please realize that it doesn't just affect you. Millions of people in Canada are also affected. We also will have to provide a passport in order to come into the US. Our passports are more expensive and are only valid for 5 years, and here you DO have to provide professional photographs. Sure there are some people complaining, but most seem to realize that this is just part of the new realities of life.

And Gesualdo, as someone living in Manitoba who has been down to North Dakota many, many times: There are several fair-sized towns that aren't much farther than Brandon is from the border. Minot and Devil's Lake for instance (and yes, I've been to both).

Eileen Sellers
01-25-2006, 05:02 PM
When everyone entering the country has to have a passport, maybe we can concentrate on the rest of the borders.

Gesualdo
01-26-2006, 07:52 PM
Maybe $6-7 per year isn't much, but $67 (plus money for photos) is a lot to come up with at one time when you don't have much to begin with. And have you tried finding a new dentist? It isn't easy to find a good one. I switched to 3 different dentists over 2-years' time and eventually decided the 40-mile drive to the town where i grew up was worth it. And when you're her age with as many problems with her teeth as she has, she just wants to keep the status quo. And the less driving she does, the happier she is, so she doesn't want to have to drive any farther than necessary. I suppose if the government requires her to have a passport, I imagine we'll chip in and buy it for her. I know most of you won't agree with me, but it seems silly to me to buy a 10-year passport just for that.

Eileen Sellers
01-26-2006, 08:38 PM
I understand how you feel about shelling out the money ... but if you want a dentist in another country, then so be it. Gas for the trip is a big chunk as well. But a one time fee in the interest of national security is a good investment, and a small price to pay for the same. And a small price to pay to see the dentist of your choice knowing that you can safely re-enter the country of your choice to live in. I think it is a great idea to chip in, perhaps you could make it an impromptu present.

I bet she'll be thrilled. A passport really is an important personal article to have, and something to be proud to have.

Jeanie821
01-26-2006, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by Eileen Sellers@Jan 26 2006, 09:38 PM
A passport really is an important personal article to* have, and something to be proud to have.
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Funny... I never thought of it that way.

Ned
07-06-2006, 07:03 AM
Many people have complained about the new requirement at year's end which requires, for the first time, that all US citizens will need their passports to reenter the country from the Caribbean or Canada, if traveling by land or sea (at the end of next year US citizens will need their passports to reenter the country from anywhere in the world via land, air and sea).

Well the Arawak Beach Inn in Anguilla has come to the rescue. I'll be willing to bet that other resorts are going to be offering deals to first time passport holders too, to try to get people who might not have ever traveled outside the country to start doing so. Maybe this law is looking up.

According to the following article in Travel Weekly they have a very nice special, for first time US passport holders, which should pay you for that first time passport purchase.

Originally posted by from Travel Weekly July 6@ 2006
Arawak Beach creates package for first-time passport holders (07/06/2006)

With the Dec. 31 deadline fast approaching for the implementation of the first phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative -- which will require U.S. travelers to the Caribbean to be in possession of a passport to re-enter the U.S. -- one Caribbean hotel has jumped in with a plan to get first-timers to apply for their passports.

Arawak Beach Inn in Anguilla launched its Passport to Paradise package to encourage prospective Caribbean travelers to get their first passport and have Anguilla be the premier stamp in it.

The four-night program, valid for travel through June 30, 2007, features accommodations and a complimentary day excursion to a secluded beach on an uninhabited island with a gourmet picnic lunch.

The package also is available for veteran passport holders with two or more Anguilla stamps in their passports.

Rates start at $240 per person, double.

REDJIM
07-06-2006, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by Ned@Jan 19 2006, 12:43 PM
I've been reading everyone's comments with interest.

I have concerns about the Travel ID Card turning into a national identity card.* I'm against the idea of a national identity card and think the Travel ID Card will quickly morph right into it.

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I'm with you, Ned. The less the government knows about me, the better off I am!

travel
07-06-2006, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by Ned@Jul 6 2006, 07:03 AM
According to the following article in Travel Weekly they have a very nice special, for first time US passport holders, which should pay you for that first time passport purchase.
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Ned, I just saw that in TW this morning, too, and I thought what a great marketing promo that is!! I bet a lot of resorts will do the same. They would be very smart to do that.

bravestar
07-06-2006, 08:45 AM
When I read that article, I slapped my head and said "Du-uh!" It's one of those simple marketing things that evade people like me even though it's very basic and sure to get a healthy response.

I've let the agents in my office know about it.

deangreenhoe
07-06-2006, 11:52 AM
This doesn't surprise me about the Arawak. They are the ultimate in "funky" vacations and ideas. I love their general attitude about running a beach bum resort. Ever read one of their brochures? It will make you laugh out loud in places.

Very clever. Now I wonder if something like this will catch on with mass market resorts?

But it does say a lot about the general American attitude about crossing borders that an offshore resort feels the need to subsidize their documentation requirements. I have mixed emotions about that for some reason.

BarkingLeopard
07-07-2006, 05:06 PM
I just drove through Canada (Niagara through Canada to Port Huron and back) yesterday. Expired passports were well-received, lines to get into the USA were 1/2 hour to an hour, and lines to get into Canada were 1/4 hour or less.

To the friendly border guards on both sides: Yes, I know you're just doing your job, but a family of four with a minivan full of suitcases really does require more than $10,000 in cash hidden away, not to mention a cooler or two of suspicious-looking ground beef and a dozen non-native plant species. At least that's the way I would have liked to answer their questions. B)

Seriously though, when I'm able to buy a house I'll make a run up to Canada and come away with some good toilets- the 1.6-gallon EPA-approved pieces of water-saving junk I'm using in the apartment now are well-intentioned but worthless.

deangreenhoe
07-11-2006, 10:46 AM
Well, the "Arawak idea" is gaining steam:

*Tour operator Apple Vacations will pay for its passengers' passports when they book an Apple Vacation for travel in 2007 at participating hotels. Now through Oct. 31, passengers who book a seven-night package on any one of the firm's exclusive charter flights will receive $100 per person off the price of their vacation to cover the cost of a passport. The "You Fly, We Buy" promotion is not valid for group bookings of 15 or more or for children "staying free" at select hotels. (PR Newswire)

Ned
07-11-2006, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by deangreenhoe@Jul 11 2006, 11:46 AM
Well, the "Arawak idea" is gaining steam:
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Travel predicted this.