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Don’t let new rules strand you without a passport

Just when you’ve come to understand the latest passport rules, the government goes and changes them again. This time, land and sea travelers are getting a bit of a reprieve. But don’t get too complacent—make sure you know the revised rules so you can apply for a passport in time.

Currently, all people traveling by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean need to present a passport to enter the country. On January 31, 2008, this rule was supposed to change to include travelers entering the country by land or sea. However, road-trippers, sailors, and cruisers can still get away with just a birth certificate and government-issue photo I.D. until an undisclosed date this summer.

It won’t be long before anyone leaving U.S. shores by any conveyance and for any length of time will need a passport. Even if your 2008 vacation schedule isn’t set, you might want to apply now to avoid long waits later. That way, when you want to make a spur-of-the-moment run for the border later this year, you’ll have all the documentation you need.

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