News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Starting tomorrow, new federal government regulations requiring travelers flying to Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean to carry a passport take effect.



Thanks to the hard work of U.S. Senator Patty Murray and other key members of the Washington Congressional delegation, passports won't yet be required for land and sea travel. Last year, the Senate passed a measure co-sponsored by Murray which delayed the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) at land and sea borders and required that certain security standards are met before the program takes full effect.



Senator Murray released the following statement:



"A critical component of our economy is fluid travel across the northern border. While we begin implementing new security standards for air travel, I will continue to push for uniform standards on both sides of the border as we move ahead with plans for land and sea crossings.



"The Department of Homeland Security must ensure that any proposal will improve our safety while continuing the flow of trade that keeps our economy strong. I am working with DHS to ensure that they properly implement this system and take into account the people and businesses that depend on fluid travel across the northern border. If we carefully plan this system, taking special concern to implement technology that will actually secure our borders, then we will avoid the more difficult task of going back and fixing a flawed system."



For more information on how to obtain a passport, please visit:
http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html