Got a flyer with my trailer renewal forms this year: As of June 1st of this year, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will require a passport or federally acceptable alternative (such as a New York State Enhanced Driver License) to cross land and sea borders.
Obtaining a US passport looks like a royal pain unless you live near a passport issuance location. And it is over $100 per person by the time you factor in the cost of the photos.
New York offers the enhanced driver license which can be obtained for $30 over the normal cost of your license and present two forms of ID at your local DMV office. (www.nysdmv.com/edl.htm
for details.) It looks like a good, lower cost alternative to a passport, and probably makes more sense for those folks on tight budgets who don't anticipate any travel abroad other than Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is an identity and cititzenship document for select sea and land border crossings as well as air travel within the US. It is not good for international air travel. And you have to be a US citizen to get one.
Gail and I are going to both get them when her license is up for renewal next month.
New York now offers an Enhanced Non-Driver ID which works the same way.
I also found out that (US) children under 16 only need proof of citizenship this year to enter Canada. It is unknown what may happen in the future.
What are other folks in NY going to do? And what alternatives are available in other US states? And what are our good friends in Canada doing?
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