The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is again reminding travelers that beginning January 31, 2008, border crossers will be asked to present documents denoting citizenship and identity when entering the United States through land and sea ports of entry. This change primarily affects United States and Canadian citizens, who have previously been permitted entry by oral declaration alone, and marks the transition toward standard and consistent documents for all travelers entering the country. It is also the start of a more robust and concerted public education campaign, intended to inform travelers of document requirements which will be implemented next year.
Beginning Jan. 31 of this year, U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 19 and older should no longer expect that an oral declaration alone will be sufficient to prove identity and citizenship for entry into the country. Instead, travelers will be asked to present documentation from a specified list of acceptable documents when entering the U.S. at land and sea ports of entry. Examples include birth certificates and driver’s licenses. Travelers who do not present one of these documents may be delayed while U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers attempt to verify their identity and citizenship. Children ages 18 and under will only need to present a birth certificate.