As of January 31, 2008, all U.S., Canadian, and Bermudian citizens aged 19 and older entering the United States by land or sea, can no longer expect that they will be able to prove identity and citizenship by oral declaration alone. Instead, they will be asked to present one of the following forms of documentary proof:

  • U.S. or Canadian Passport
  • U.S. Passport Card (available Spring 2008. See below)*
  • Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)*
  • State or Provincial Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available—this secure driver’s license will denote identity and citizenship.)*
  • Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)*
  • U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Document
  • Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
  • Form I-872 American Indian Card
  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Card
  • Bermudians should present a passport issued by the Government of Bermuda or the United Kingdom, or a government-issued photo ID along with proof of citizenship

* These documents are for frequent land border crossers, and are issued to expedite processing into the United States.

All U.S., Canadian, and Bermudian citizens who do not have one of the documents from the list above, must present both an identification and a citizenship document from the list below:

Identity Documents*:

  • Driver’s license or identification card issued by a federal, state, provincial, county, territory, or municipal authority
  • U.S. or Canadian military identification card

* All identification documents must have a photo, name and date of birth.

Citizenship Documents:

  • U.S. or Canadian birth certificate issued by a federal, state, provincial, county, territory or municipal authority
  • U.S. Consular report of birth abroad
  • U.S. Certificate of Naturalization
  • U.S. Certificate of Citizenship
  • U.S. Citizen Identification Card
  • Canadian Citizenship Card
  • Canadian certificate of citizenship without photo

U.S. and Canadian citizen children ages 18 and under will be expected to present a birth certificate issued by a federal, state, provincial, county or municipal authority.

Travelers who do not present one of the documents listed below may be delayed as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers attempt to verify their identity and citizenship.

For Travelers Other than U.S. and Canadian Citizens

All existing nonimmigrant visa and passport requirements will remain in effect and will not be altered by the changes that were implemented on January 31, 2008.

U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents

Permanent Resident Card (I-551) or other valid evidence of lawful permanent residence is required.

Mexican Citizens

Mexican citizens, including children, must present a valid passport and a B-1/B-2 nonimmigrant visa or a Border Crossing Card.

During the transition period, which will last for 18 months, travelers who do not have the appropriate documents may be delayed while Customs and Border Protection officers attempt to verify their citizenship and identity. They will also be given an informational tear sheet explaining the new procedures. The intent of this transition is to raise awareness of the change, educate travelers, and allow ample time for travelers to obtain the necessary documents.

After the transition period, the Departments of Homeland Security and State will implement the requirement for secure travel documents, under the congressionally mandated Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.