Starting today, every American citizen is now required to have a passport to return to the U.S., even for travel to Mexico and Canada.
Beginning today, American travelers entering the U.S. by land, air or sea from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean are required to carry a U.S. passport.
“The basic, number one rule is that everyone should get a passport,” said Vince Gargiulo, owner of Cruise Planners, a Gainesville travel agency. “That would be the safest way to travel.”
The new regulations also will apply to cruisers, with an exception for “closed loop cruises,” which travel within the Western Hemisphere and depart from and return to the same port.
Although closed loop cruisers are not required to have a passport to travel, Gargiulo still recommends that everyone get a passport as soon as possible.
If someone on a cruise fell ill and needed to return to the U.S., they would not be able to.
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush admitted yesterday they had no idea the U.S. was implementing a new rule Monday that would require Canadians and Americans to have passports to cross the border.
The former presidents were caught off guard during a 90-minute joint appearance in Toronto when moderator Frank McKenna, the former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., spoke about how Canadians feel slighted by the new rule.
Of course, there’s no good reason for this. American citizens have been freely travelling to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean now for decades on the strength of a driver’s license. There’s no point to this whatsoever.