Traveling to Canada?
Learn about New Requirements at U.S.-Canada Border Crossings
BACKGROUND – WHAT’S CHANGING
Following recent meetings with customs officials and residents in Minnesota’s border cities, including International Falls, Warroad and Baudette, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is taking action to help Minnesotans adjust to new identification requirements at the U.S.-Canada border.
During her local visits, Klobuchar heard first-hand how new regulations by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will affect business travelers, hunters, anglers and families. Area residents and businesses asked Klobuchar to help cut through the red tape that was being created by the new border crossing laws.
On this page, you will find a brief description of the new regulations, what is required and how Senator Klobuchar’s office can help you.
Since taking office, Senator Klobuchar has been working to help Minnesotans comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which passed Congress in 2004 and is now taking effect. This new law requires that U.S. citizens hold a passport for all international travel, including border crossings into Canada. For the many Minnesotans who do not already have passports, this new requirement creates a significant burden of time, money and inconvenience.
To correct this problem, Senator Klobuchar supported a cheaper and more convenient alterative “passport card” for travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Applications for these passport cards are now being accepted, and information about how to apply is below.
Senator Klobuchar also succeeded in delaying full implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative until June 2009 so Minnesotans traveling will not be tied up in red tape. As a result, until June 2009, a passport or passport card is not required as long as the U.S. citizen can present a birth certificate and driver’s license when crossing the border. Children must also have proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW – AND WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
As of January 31, 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will no longer accept oral declarations of citizenship for travelers over age 19 who enter the U.S. by land or sea. This changes what had been standard practice for decades.
Senator Klobuchar continues to push the Department of Homeland Security for additional time for border residents to prepare for the transition, and has already secured several delays in implementation. However, residents should be prepared for a January 31st start date for increased border identification requirements, and the June 2009 start time for passport or passport cards.
Below are the documents now required under the Homeland Security’s new regulations. If you have questions, please contact Senator Klobuchar’s office by clicking here and her staff will be able to further assist you.
Acceptable Documents as of January 31, 2008:
(Only one of these documents is required)
- U.S. or Canadian Passport
- Birth Certificate (along with a driver's license or state-issued identification card)
- U.S. Passport Card (available spring 2008)*
- Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST)*
- State or Provincial Issued Enhanced Driver's License (when available - this secure driver's license will denote identity and citizenship.)*
- Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)*
- U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Document
- Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
- Form I-872 American Indian Card
- Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Card
For people who frequently cross the U.S.-Canada border, Customs and Border Protection recommends using one of the asterisked documents to expedite your entry into the U.S.
Travelers 18 and younger are required to have proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
For additional information please go to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Webpage.
To Apply for a U.S. Passport Card:
Minnesotans can apply in advance for the new U.S. Passport Card beginning February 1, 2008. The passport card will facilitate entry and expedite document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
Adults who already have a passport book can apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay $20. First-time applicants will pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children.
For more information please go to U.S. Department of State Webpage.
Senator Klobuchar’s Offices
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main Line: 202-224-3244
Main Fax: 202-228-2186
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043
1200 Washington Avenue South, Room 250
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Main Line: 612-727-5220
Main Fax: 612-727-5223
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043
1130 1/2 7th Street NW, Room 208
Rochester, MN 55901
Main Line: 507-288-5321
121 4th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56560
Main Line: 218-287-2219
Olcott Plaza, Room 105
820 9th Street North
Virginia, MN 55792
Main Line: 218-741-9690