Oh, joy!

Jul. 22nd, 2006 11:59 pm
rjlona: (crap)
[personal profile] rjlona
Heads up, Michiganders: The US government is going to start requiring passports to travel to and from Canada. Yes, Canada. Passports will be required starting January 1, 2007, if you're travelling by sea or air. If you're driving across the border, the deadline is January 1, 2008. Here's an article in the Detroit Free Press. Aside from this making tourism and cross-border shopping more difficult, I wonder what they expect people who commute across the river to do? And passport prices have gone up since I got mine; renewal by mail is $67, but a first-time application is $97.

Learning about this caused me to go searching for my passport. I used it last August when Brian and I went to Stratford, so I knew it was around here somewhere. After much frustration, I found it, only to discover that it expired last Tuesday.

Sigh.

So, Ladies, we should probably try to squeeze in all our mad Lush-gathering trips to Windsor in the next 17 months!

Date: 2006-07-23 04:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saltatoria.livejournal.com
Eh, I needed one anyway, and 17 months is plenty of time to save $97. ;)

I always thought I should have one so I can a) feel jaunty, as if I'm a world traveler, and b) just in case. It looks like Option B arrived a bit sooner than I'd thought, but I'm still hoping to go to Britain next year. *crosses fingers*

I knew it was only a matter of time. Truthfully, I'm surprised they didn't start requiring them sooner. When they made the new rule about birth certificates and such, it didn't even faze me. Even as a kid, I was surprised at how easy it was to cross the border with virtually no I.D.

As for commuters, there's a slight chance some employers might give them a reimbursement, sort of like transit fare and other benefits. Let's hope so. :)

Date: 2006-07-23 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saltatoria.livejournal.com
Oh, and did you see this?

"The Department of Homeland Security has been talking of a "passport lite" for travel to Canada that would cost about $50. However, it is not yet designed or for sale. To apply, travelers would have to provide the same documentation required for a passport.

Research by the Detroit Regional Chamber found that few metro Detroiters would buy a "passport lite."

Then, there's the current Canadian/U.S. program, NEXIS, that allows frequent travelers to get a $50 ID card that allows them to travel quickly between the countries using special lanes. NEXIS has stricter requirement than a U.S. passport, including an interview, Interpol criminal background check and electronic fingerprint record. It is not exactly suitable for the casual traveler."

That gets rid of some concerns; we could get a cheaper rate if they get that "lite" thing through, and people who commute already have a cool program in place. I don't think this is quite as alarming as it initially seems to most people. I'm still going to get a real one, though. May as well. I want to travel the world!

Date: 2006-07-23 04:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saltatoria.livejournal.com
I just noticed they're good for ten years. That's not bad at all. $9.70/year is nothing. :-D Woohoo.

Date: 2006-07-23 05:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rjlona.livejournal.com
Yep, ten years. My ten years ran out this week, dang it!

Gods, has it been ten years since I went to Germany? Oy.

Date: 2006-07-23 05:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saltatoria.livejournal.com
I've had similar thoughts regarding time. I was thinking about a camping trip earlier and realized it was twelve years ago - Labor Day weekend 1994. Ouch.

I graduated twelve years ago. TWELVE. Nooooo. It feels more like five.

Date: 2006-07-23 05:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rjlona.livejournal.com
Me, too. I try not to think about that one.

Date: 2006-07-23 04:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pensivebrooding.livejournal.com
I'm a young'un. My passport doesn't seem to expire until 2013.

*crawls back into play-pen*

Date: 2006-07-24 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] desfontaines.livejournal.com
My parents got each other passports last Christmas because of this. They like going to Sarnia's casino.

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