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Passport Clarification Needed..

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Hi Paul,

Nice to hear from you again. I think that with the ongoing changes, many people will throw up their hands, say 'Oh for Heaven's sake' and just get the passport. At some point, keeping track of the variety and further revisions to the list of acceptable documents will overwhelm the average person. It originally was the intent of DHS to require a passport/passcard for everyone, and I suspect this latest move is more of a Big Stick persuasion than anything else. But there is still a choice--albeit a choice that is becoming increasingly more difficult to exercise--and I want to ensure that cruisers on this board are at least aware of their options, as well as their obligations. I suppose, for me, the issue is less the actual cost (and as you may recall, I am now on my fourth passport myself) than the principal of law.

 

From what I understand, your current NJ license is materially compliant with the Real ID act. OTOH, I happen to live in a state that allows illegal aliens to receive Driver Licenses, so I expect a real showdown when folks suddenly cannot use their New Mexico DL as ID at the airport. (Except for the ones like me; I also have a passport and a federal ID card). Unless the Governor blinks, which he may well do since he is no longer in a presidential campaign. It will be verrrrry interrrrresting to see how this plays out in all 50 states.

 

LBNL, how was your shakedown cruise? Thrilling and inspiring I trust?

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Hi Paul,

Nice to hear from you again. I think that with the ongoing changes, many people will throw up their hands, say 'Oh for Heaven's sake' and just get the passport. At some point, keeping track of the variety and further revisions to the list of acceptable documents will overwhelm the average person. It originally was the intent of DHS to require a passport/passcard for everyone, and I suspect this latest move is more of a Big Stick persuasion than anything else. But there is still a choice--albeit a choice that is becoming increasingly more difficult to exercise--and I want to ensure that cruisers on this board are at least aware of their options, as well as their obligations. I suppose, for me, the issue is less the actual cost (and as you may recall, I am now on my fourth passport myself) than the principal of law.

 

From what I understand, your current NJ license is materially compliant with the Real ID act. OTOH, I happen to live in a state that allows illegal aliens to receive Driver Licenses, so I expect a real showdown when folks suddenly cannot use their New Mexico DL as ID at the airport. (Except for the ones like me; I also have a passport and a federal ID card). Unless the Governor blinks, which he may well do since he is no longer in a presidential campaign. It will be verrrrry interrrrresting to see how this plays out in all 50 states.

 

LBNL, how was your shakedown cruise? Thrilling and inspiring I trust?

 

Hey Cheryl,

 

Thanks for your reply. I think the bottom line is that the system is continually going to be undergoing upgrades and there is no question that a Passport is the best form of ID available as of today. As it looks now...a Passport alone may not be enough in the future. I don't work for the DOD, the US Dep't of State, The Dep't of Homeland Security, the CBP...or any other Governmental agency...so I don't advocate getting a Passport for the sake of benefitting the US Treasury, however, it seems obvious to me that, a Passport is the one thing that any traveller should obtain sooner rather than than later.

 

My 'Tiger Cruise" aboard the USS Enterprise was outstanding, and particularly emotional when the ship returned to Norfolk, being among 5,000+ Sailors and Marines, waiting to disembark the ship, to walk down the gangway into the arms of their loved ones...particularly the Sailors and Marines who would see their newborn children for the first time.

 

The average person can't buy a cruise like I was on...invitation only...it was 'priceless'.

 

If you are interested...check out the following links for still photos and video.

 

http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=iopr9ig.sjhp0zs&x=0&h=1&y=-kctkzr

 

 

 

 

Once again, it is a pleasure to have made your aquaintence. You are very knowledgeable, informed, and helpful.

 

Talk soon, Paul from NJ

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We applied for our passports on January 4th and we received them today, January 14th. :)

 

Good for you!!!:D At least you won't have to worry about pre-vacation travel documentation anxiety!

 

Do yourself a favor and make at least 2 color photocopies of the passports. Bring one with you along on your trip, kept in a safe place, separate from the original. Keep the other copy in a safe place at home, safety-deposit box, or wherever you keep important documents. The copy will facilitate replacement of your original passport in the unfortunate event you were to lose the original.

 

Enjoy your upcoming trip!!!

 

Paul from NJ

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Here is a new wrinkle to the entire Passport/passcard/BC-DL question:

 

The Real ID act will require the use of a Driver's License which complies with the Real ID act for federal purposes, which includes domestic airport security, entering a federal building or getting on a cruise ship.

 

In the Final Rule published Jan 11, 2008 DHS says the states have until May of this year to apply for an extension waiver to meet the regulations. Residents of States which do not already meet the requirements or apply for the waiver will not be able to use their state Driver License for federal ID purposes after May 2008.

 

Several states have declared they will not comply with the Real ID act*, but these states could still apply for the waiver. Doing so would give residents of those states until at least Dec. 31, 2009 to use their state DL for federal ID purposes. IF their state did not comply with the graduated requirements they would need an alternate document for ID (passport or passcard). If their state materially complies with most of the requirements, they have until 2014.

 

This means that travellers will now need to keep track of whether or not their state issued DL is compliant or not. OR, go ahead and get a passport or passcard for domestic travel use.

 

*The 17, according to the ACLU, are Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington

 

California and New Jersey have stated they intend to comply. For all other states, contact your local legislator and Motor Vehicles departments.

 

Hi Again Cheryl,

 

I have just read a portion of the DHS ruling re: "Real ID Act" and it is certainly a wake up call or strong arm tactic to insist that States comply with the ruling or for travelers to be forced to obtain a US Passport. I have always maintained that obtaining a Passport would be a prudent measure for securing proper ID, prior to ever knowing about this measure, but I would continue to maintain that obtaining a Passport sooner rather than later would be in the best interest of all US Citizens at this point, based on the DHS excerpt set forth below.

 

 

What if my State does not comply with REAL ID?

If a State chooses not to comply with the provisions of the final rule, its driver’s licenses and identification cards will no longer be acceptable for official Federal purposes. Individuals of the non-compliant States can still present other forms of acceptable identification such as a U.S. passport to board federally regulated commercial aircraft and access Federal facilities.

What will be the impact on individual citizens of non-compliant States?

Per the REAL ID Act, beginning on May 11, 2008, citizens of States that are not REAL ID compliant may not use their driver’s licenses or identification cards for official federal purposes such as boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft or accessing federal or nuclear facilities. If these citizens do not have other acceptable forms of identification (e.g., a U.S. passport), they may suffer delays due to the requirement for enhanced security screening. REAL ID-compliant States are those that have both requested and obtained an extension of the compliance date from DHS, or have been determined by DHS to be in compliance with the Act and the final rule.

 

I certainly understand the necessity of having proper ID for national security purposes, but the more I read, the more I wonder whether or not having a US Passport alone, will be entirely sufficient in the future.

 

What are your thoughts on this matter?

 

Paul from NJ

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Hi Again Cheryl,

 

...What are your thoughts on this matter?

 

Paul from NJ

Paul,

My thoughts are that this is a strong-arm political move designed to bring the issue to the forefront. When the average citizen is forced to undergo security delays because they do not have a compliant ID, they tend to complain loudly. As a result, I figure this summer will see far worse complaints and travel delays than 2007. I think that a passport will always be the ultimate travel ID, but that many US citizens will suddenly need one (or a passcard) for flying on business, or to see Grandma over the summer, or going to Disney World. So states that are fighting the 'national ID card' on constitutional grounds better start a PR campaign getting their citizens ready and WILLING to suffer personal inconvenience in the name of constitutional principle. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see if either side blinks.

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Paul,

My thoughts are that this is a strong-arm political move designed to bring the issue to the forefront. When the average citizen is forced to undergo security delays because they do not have a compliant ID, they tend to complain loudly. As a result, I figure this summer will see far worse complaints and travel delays than 2007. I think that a passport will always be the ultimate travel ID, but that many US citizens will suddenly need one (or a passcard) for flying on business, or to see Grandma over the summer, or going to Disney World. So states that are fighting the 'national ID card' on constitutional grounds better start a PR campaign getting their citizens ready and WILLING to suffer personal inconvenience in the name of constitutional principle. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see if either side blinks.

 

Hi Cheryl,

 

I agree with your thoughts on the matter, however, I do believe that the matter of travel security needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness...notwithstanding the opinion and objection of the ACLU regarding "The Real ID Act", and the constitutional principles concerned therewith. I have no problem providing proof of citizenship with whatever documents are necessary to do so.

 

I personally know many people that don't feel the need to obtain a US Passport, because they say they will not travel anywhere in order to need one. The 'Real ID Act' throws a 'curveball' into the mix by the requirements set forth in the Act, namely airline travel, and accessing Federal or Nuclear facilities, without a Passport or Real ID.

 

I am unclear as to exactly what 'accessing a Federal facility' means. Does that mean if I want to visit the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, that I will need either a Passport or a Real ID to do so?

 

Many of the 'bogus' ID documents provided to the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks were obtained in NJ, hence, I believe, NJ's compliance with the Real ID Act and the already in place implementation of a "6 Point ID Verification Program", to obtain a drivers license.

 

I disagree with the ACLU if they maintain that national security is an invasion of privacy. If someone has something to hide then we all need to be concerned.

 

As always a pleasure to hear your thoughts and that you share them with us all.

 

Paul from NJ

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First, I appreciate everyone who has made an effort at helping others keep up with the passport changes, with a special thank you to cherylandtk.

 

My son and I do not yet have passports, and I have been watching these developments with much curiosity. The only cruise in the budget for this year is a 3 night Disney, which is in two weeks, so we are good with birth certificates. I had figured that at some point over the following year, we would go ahead and get the passports, although I was hoping to just get passcards. I was surprised to see that passcards are not good for air travel - I thought they would be phased in as full replacements for passports. I wonder if they plan on changing that at any time in the future? If not, we will definitely get the regular passport so that our future travel will not be hampered.

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First, I appreciate everyone who has made an effort at helping others keep up with the passport changes, with a special thank you to cherylandtk.

 

My son and I do not yet have passports, and I have been watching these developments with much curiosity. The only cruise in the budget for this year is a 3 night Disney, which is in two weeks, so we are good with birth certificates. I had figured that at some point over the following year, we would go ahead and get the passports, although I was hoping to just get passcards. I was surprised to see that passcards are not good for air travel - I thought they would be phased in as full replacements for passports. I wonder if they plan on changing that at any time in the future? If not, we will definitely get the regular passport so that our future travel will not be hampered.

 

My advice... bottom line...apply for a passport. The word passport appears, as an approved travel document requirement, in nearly every discussion set forth by the DOS, DHS, & CBP. It is difficult for me to understand why, travellers, who plan to travel anytime soon, would not consider getting a passport. Passports have been a universally accepted form of identification for many years...long before 9/11, and the newly proposed required travel document requirements.

 

It's not a great big deal to get a US Passport, providing you have the necessary documents and can afford to pay the fee to obtain the passport.

 

I got a US Passport, not because I plan to travel out of the country, but because I had the foresight to know that this day would someday come...and that I wanted to be prepared.

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Regardless what the current rules are or when they expect them to change, the drop dead date for having a passport has changed multiple times in the last couple of years. You will need it eventually anyway. Go ahead and get it now...

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First, I appreciate everyone who has made an effort at helping others keep up with the passport changes, with a special thank you to cherylandtk.
Aw Shucks--thanks, because it is responses like yours that overcome all the ones that are not so nice.

 

My son and I do not yet have passports, and I have been watching these developments with much curiosity. The only cruise in the budget for this year is a 3 night Disney, which is in two weeks, so we are good with birth certificates. I had figured that at some point over the following year, we would go ahead and get the passports, although I was hoping to just get passcards. I was surprised to see that passcards are not good for air travel - I thought they would be phased in as full replacements for passports. I wonder if they plan on changing that at any time in the future? If not, we will definitely get the regular passport so that our future travel will not be hampered.
The passport card is really only intended as a land/sea border crossing ID. There are no plans to make the passcard equivalent to a passport; you will not be able to use one to fly internationally. Given that, you should apply for passports when you are ready. (Do note that the spring and summer are the busy times, whereas mid-August through ~ February are slow times; current turnaround is about 2 weeks.)

 

When the original WHTI was passed, the intent was to require a passport for all border crossings-land, sea and air. For air it was not a big change, because international travel already required a passport. For sea, it was a bigger change, and note the subsequent removal of that requirement for most cruises. (Its a captive population for the most part). For land, it was a huge change, because so many people cross the borders each day, some for work, some for family, some for pleasure. For that population, it was decided to add the passport card, to make it easier to carry in a wallet, as well as provide a less costly alternative to a full passport.

 

I personally would not bother with just the passcard, and would always recommend the passport; but that is JMO. :)

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whereas mid-August through ~ February are slow times

 

Thanks again for the information. I will probably go ahead and look at passports around Sept/Oct this year, as that will be when I start preparing plans for whatever next year's vacations will be.

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Hey Cheryl,

 

It becomes increasingly more evident that the passport is the way to go...despite the lesser cost of the 'passcard'. It seems to me that despite the political pressures involved, the reality is, that a passport is the only way to go anywhere these days. Thats not necessarily a bad thing however.

 

Have a great day and as always a pleasure to read your posts.

 

Paul from NJ

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We applied for our passports on January 4th and we received them today, January 14th. :)
we waited to long...the cost at our new jersey post office for the expediated passport is $182.00 each and the wait time is 4 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we will use birth cert. on our cruise 3/9/2008 out of san juan...

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Blkspy--they never advise a waiting time of less than 3-4 weeks, even if it is only taking 2-3. So you should not need expedited processing.

 

Is it easy and cheap for you to get a duplicate of your certified BC? If so, keep one for back-up and use the other to apply for your standard processing passport. Odds are great that you will have it in time for your cruise.

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Hey everybody!

 

This may be a stupid question but...

 

I read an article on the front page of this site a few days ago and it seemed it said you needed a passport, DL, and birth certificates for cruises now.

 

Did I misunderstand? We have passports, but do we still need to take our birth certificates with us?

 

We're going Vancouver to Anchorage in May if that info is necessary.

 

Thanks!

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Razor--which article are you referring to? There was a Feature dated 1/28, but it does not state passports are required now. (It does mistakenly state that passports will be required eventually--failing to take into account the cruise exception for the final phase of the WHTI).

 

Regardless, take your passport when you travel, it is the gold standard for verifying both citizenship and ID. One does not need any other document unless perhaps a visa within the passport for a country that requires a visa ( Canada does not).

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Thanks Cheryl!

 

I tried to find the article but can't. It might've been the one you mentioned. I didn't think you needed a birth certificate if you had a passport but I just needed to make sure.

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Razor--which article are you referring to? There was a Feature dated 1/28, but it does not state passports are required now. (It does mistakenly state that passports will be required eventually--failing to take into account the cruise exception for the final phase of the WHTI).

 

Regardless, take your passport when you travel, it is the gold standard for verifying both citizenship and ID. One does not need any other document unless perhaps a visa within the passport for a country that requires a visa ( Canada does not).

 

Well...not surprising to me...when I walked into my local US Post Office this evening, there was a notice posted indicating that effective February 1, 2008, US Passport fees have increased. Pretty good timing I would say... since the new WHTI ID requirements became effective January 31, 2008.

 

The new US Passport fees stated in the notice (verbatim) are as follows:

 

For regular service:

 

Age 16 and under.........$85.00

Age 16 and over..........$100.00

 

For expedited service:

 

Age 16 and under.........$161.25

Age 16 and older..........$176.25

 

My advice continues to be...if you plan to travel ANYWHERE...get the Passport ASAP. When the new regulations become effective in 'Summer 2009', there is no doubt in my mind, that the cost of obtaining a Passport will increase again, particularly when at that time there will be a 'mad' rush to obtain a Passport and the waiting time will consequentally increase.

 

"Economics 101"...When the demand for a commodity increases...so does the cost of the commodity."

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Thanks to Paul for posting the prices here; they have been the subject of much discussion on other threads, as has the new application form. The forms themselves no longer have the price on them; allowing for price increases as needed without formal revision of the application form.

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Thanks to Paul for posting the prices here; they have been the subject of much discussion on other threads, as has the new application form. The forms themselves no longer have the price on them; allowing for price increases as needed without formal revision of the application form.

 

Thanks Cheryl...for the thanks. It appears obvious that proper travel documentation will remain an important issue,as well it should be. There are many cliches that cover this scenario including: "He who hesitates is lost", and "Caveat Emptor" or "Let the buyer beware".

 

Thanks for your continued pursuit of making the travelling public aware.

 

Best Regards,

 

Paul

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My daughters and I just got our passports (first time) and it was extremely EASY and FAST! We just took our certified birth certificate, ID's and the application form, paid our fee and we received them in a week and a half. I would encourage anybody who has been waiting to just go ahead and do it :)

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Hey yall, its new girl who only has 5 more months of questions for yall LOL!

 

Ok Ive called the cruiseline (Carnival) and they told me that my boys and I do NOT need passports to cruise. I thought ok, great.

 

Then I called the district clerks office and the post office where passports are issued and they both told me we are required to have passports to cruise.

 

We don't go until July.....my Vacation planner knows this and she said it didnt matter, but why am I getting two different answers?? :confused:

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You're getting two different answers because not everyone is up-to-date with the latest changes. ;)

 

Tell those clerks to check out the DHS website and then call you back.

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Hey yall, its new girl who only has 5 more months of questions for yall LOL!

 

Ok Ive called the cruiseline (Carnival) and they told me that my boys and I do NOT need passports to cruise. I thought ok, great.

 

Then I called the district clerks office and the post office where passports are issued and they both told me we are required to have passports to cruise.

 

We don't go until July.....my Vacation planner knows this and she said it didnt matter, but why am I getting two different answers?? :confused:

 

My advice: Get the Passports...whether or not you ever plan to travel again. Sometime...on a non-specific date in the future...you will need to have a Passport to travel outside and return to the US. The rules change continually. The only thing that is certain is that eventually...you will need the Passport. Don't torture yourself knowing or not knowing that you have the proper ID. I got a Passport and don't have any plans to travel outside the US, in the near future, either by land, sea, or air...but if I have to or do...I have the Passport. Take Cheryl's advice and keep informed through the US Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and US Customs and Border Protection websites for the latest information.

 

Enjoy your trip!!!

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