Weatherford Democrat


January 11, 2008

Confusion continues about implementation of passport regulations

GARLAND — New deadlines concerning necessary documentation are about to impact international travelers when they return to the United States. On Jan. 31, 2008, returning U.S. citizens and residents entering by land or sea from Canada, the Caribbean or Mexico will need to produce an original birth certificate, passport or other form of government issued identification like a Nexus card along with a picture ID. Previously, oral declarations of citizenship were sufficient (although scrutiny along the border with Mexico is closer than the Canadian boundary). Then in June, travelers are scheduled to need to have a current passport to cross boundaries back into the United States by any mode of travel. However, Congress is trying to delay those provisions until at least June of 2009 because enforcement will interfere with commerce along the borders.

In the next few years, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will mandate that all travelers crossing into the United States have a current passport, but no one can predict when it will all go into effect. Because there was a tremendous processing backlog last summer, deadlines were delayed and Congress now wants them postponed again. Currently, all persons entering the US by air must have a valid passport, but documentation using other modes of travel is still being phased in.

Until the requirements are clarified, Robbert van Bloemendaal, President of CWT: All About Travel in Garland, Texas suggests that clients be prepared and have a passport well ahead of their intended travel. “Passports cost $97 for new applicants, but they are valid for ten years in most instances.” said van Bloemendaal. “It would benefit the potential traveler to get a passport now, in advance of scheduling any international excursions.”

The number of passports being processed has steadily increased since 2004 when the WHTI went into effect. Limited use passport I.D. cards are in development but they are not yet available and will only benefit travelers in the Western Hemisphere once they are offered. Turn-around times for passports are less now than during the fall when the requirements were suspended for a month, but travelers still need to allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing applications. Resorts, tour companies and cruise lines offered rebates and discounts in response to the new passport regulations for months after the first change of requirements in January of 2007 but that is less likely today according to van Bloemendaal.

Information about travel documentation can be found at the U.S. Department of State website at cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html.

Text Only
  • 0727 soc sharlow birth.jpg Sharlows welcome daughter, Sadie

    Marc and Julie Sharlow, of Aledo, are pleased to announce the arrival of their daughter, Sadie, who was born June 5, 2014, at Harris Methodist Southwest.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • MILITARY NEWS: Sterling graduates basic

    U.S. Army Pvt. Zachary A. Sterling has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0727 soc dukeman.jpg Dukeman and Damerau unite in marriage

    Lois Michelle Dukeman and Collyn Layne Damerau joined together in marriage on June 14, 2014, in front of family and friends at MD Resorts in Aurora, Texas. Rejoicing with the couple were the bride’s parents, Roger and Brenda Dukeman; brother, James Dukeman; and grandmother, Lois Davenport. Also celebrating the couple were the parents of the groom, Dale and Robbin Damerau; sister, Courtney Damerau; brother, Cayden Damerau; and grandparents, Larry and Joyce Damerau, Lorrine Damerau and Robert and Alice Courtney.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0720 soc hudson engagement.jpg Hudson, Elswick to unite in marriage

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach Food Winners - at award ceremony.jpg Parker County Peach Food Contest winners

    Several home cooks were crowned during Saturday’s Peach Food Contest, an outlet of the 30th Annual Parker County Peach Festival.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rev. Stephen Schmidt New pastor named to First United Methodist Weatherford

    Rev. Stephen Schmidt has been named as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church, Weatherford. He previously served for 12 years at Grace United Methodist Church in Copperas Cove. In all, Rev. Schmidt has spent over 30 years as a Methodist minister.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0706 loc first united methodist pastor.jpg FUMC honors retiring Rev. Glenn Jones

    Glenn Jones, Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Weatherford, has retired after serving the church for nine years. Rev. Jones received his call to serve 50 years ago and has served about 16 churches during his tenure.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marlysia Earls Earls named state pageant finalist

    Marlysia Earls is a Texas state finalist in the Junior Teen Division of the National American Miss Pageant to be  held July 13 and 14 in Addison. If chosen, she will compete in the national competition held in Anaheim, California, in November. Marlysia will be starting her junior year at Weatherford High School in the fall. 

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Airman Ryan R. Powell Powell graduates basic training

    Air Force Airman Ryan R. Powell graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry Ellis.jpg Weatherford Art Association June meeting

    Local artist James Spurlock demonstrated to a packed house at the June Weatherford Art Association meeting last Monday. Spurlock demonstrated working with water mixable oils and completed a painting during the meeting. 

    June 29, 2014 3 Photos

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating