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A passport may be the safest bet

CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. -- During a visit to a border crossing in Champlain, N.Y., the US ambassador to Canada stressed the...


CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. — During a visit to a border crossing in Champlain, N.Y., the US ambassador to Canada stressed the importance of obtaining a passport for land border crossings.

David Wilkins noted there are a lot of mixed messages surrounding border crossing requirements, but a passport law has been passed and is in place for air travel, while for land crossings the law will be implemented sometime between January 2008 and June 2009.

The ambassador made his comments while inspecting a new customs clearance facility, which dramatically speeds up truck traffic at the Quebec-New York border, reported the Canadian Press. Approximately 1,500 trucks pass through the Canada-US border point during peak periods.

While obtaining a passport is the forefront option, Wilkins noted regulations for a wallet-sized passport card will be unveiled this summer.

Other pilot projects have been put in motion to deal with the border crossing requirements outlined in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Border crossings between B.C. and Washington are giving an enhanced drivers licence a test run, while Ontario is expected to have developed a similar licence by the end of the year.

But Wilkins is skeptical about such developments and if they do not pan out a passport will still be required.

We dont know if thats going to be successful. . . There are others that want to do that, there are other provinces that have talked about it, he was quoted by the Canadian Press. Dont rely on that . . . all these other alternatives are just discussions of what may be.

— with files from the Canadian Press


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