In another step along the way to the full implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, as of January 31, 2008, adult travelers entering the United States through land and sea ports will have to present proof of identity and citizenship.
This changes a policy by which U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are allowed to accept oral declarations of citizenship from U.S. and Canadian citizens entering the U.S. through a land or sea border.
Starting January 31, U.S. and Canadian citizens aged 19 and older will need to present either a passport or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate. Children aged 18 and under will only be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
The departments of State and Homeland Security will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI at a still-to-be-determined date, expected to be some time during the summer of 2008. The date depends on the progress DHS makes in taking the actions needed to fully implement the land and sea phase, including the availability of WHTI-compliance documents—such as PassCards or enhanced driver’s licenses—on both sides of the U.S.–Canada border.