Passports Now Required for Travel Within Western Hemisphere
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reminded air carriers and the traveling public that the temporary Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) accommodation allowing U.S. citizens to travel by air within the Western Hemisphere using a Department of State (DOS) official proof of passport application receipt has ended as scheduled at midnight on September 30, 2007. U.S. citizens who departed the country under this travel accommodation before October 1 with an official proof of passport application receipt and government-issued identification will be readmitted with these same documents if returning to the U.S. after September 30. Effective October 1, U.S. citizens traveling by air to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda must present a passport or other WHTI-compliant documentation to enter or depart from the U.S.
DHS and DOS announced the temporary WHTI accommodation for air travel in June because of lengthy processing times for passport applications amid record-breaking demand.