U.S. border officials launch awareness campaign for Canucks

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alongside the start of the National Football League season, U.S. Customs and Border Protection launched a massive border identification awareness campaign and now they’re bringing the message to Canada.

The television and print advertising campaign will begin in Canada on Sept. 15, in an effort to remind the Canadian public about travel document requirements for entry into the U.S. that go into effect on June 1, 2009.

"We take seriously the obligation to inform travelers on both sides of the border of the change in procedures," stated CBP Commissioner W. Ralph Basham. "This multi-faceted campaign is designed to reach frequent as well as infrequent border crossers. A well-informed traveler plays an active role in contributing to the security as well as the efficiency of our shared borders."

This phase of CBP‘s Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative outreach efforts will include French and English-language advertising on Canadian television and in newspapers and magazines; advertising on the Web; public service announcements; the launch of new websites (www.knowyourborder.gov and www.verslesusa.gov) and interactive widget; as well as distribution of related information through the media and various travel stakeholders.

On June 1, 2009, travelers will need to present a valid, acceptable document that denotes both identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. by land or sea. WHTI was implemented for air travelers in January 2007.

Most travelers will be able to select from one of several different document options, based upon their individual travel needs.

Many Canadian travelers already have a passport, which is a WHTI-compliant document. In addition to the Canadian passport, there are three other documents that CBP will accept at land and sea ports of entry from Canadian citizens coming from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean. These are the provincially issued enhanced driver’s licenses and NEXUS and FAST trusted traveler program cards that utilize radio-frequency identification technology.

B.C. has already launched a pilot program to issue an enhanced driver’s license, while several other provinces have announced plans to issue similar licenses before June 1, 2009.

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