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New Travel Rules for High-Tech IDs Take Effect June 1

New Travel Rules for High-Tech IDs Take Effect June 1

New travel requirements go into effect June 1 at U.S. land and sea borders amid security concerns over an RFID-enabled passport card that has been approved for U.S. travelers.

The passport cards are being issued by the U.S. State Department under a program aimed at better securing U.S. borders against terrorist threats. Under the program, called the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), U.S. citizens returning from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean by land or sea will be required to show a valid passport, the RFID-enabled passport or a WHTI-compliant driver’s license starting June 1. Currently, U.S. citizens can re-enter the country from these four regions with a driver’s license and proof of citizenship, such as a birth or naturalization certificate.

The passport cards, about 1 million of which have been issued so far, are designed to be a secure but cheaper alternative to regular passports. The card costs $45 for those 16 and older and $35 for those under 16. In contrast, a regular passport costs $100 for those over 16 and $85 for minors.


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