January 18, 2008

CRAPO NOTES BORDER CROSSING, PASSPORT CHANGES

Says delays in obtaining passports may be easing

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo says Idahoans should be alert to changes in federal requirements to cross the Canadian border that will go into effect at the end of this month. New Homeland Security requirements mean U.S. citizens will have to carry either a U.S. passport or a combination of local identification and a birth certificate to legally cross the U.S. - Canada border after January 31, 2008.

Crapo says there is good news for those applying for a U.S. passport in light of the changes. He says the U.S. State Department now reports it has eliminated most lengthy delays in obtaining passports.

"The latest information from the State Department is that the application time to obtain a U.S. passport is back to the normal timeframe of four to six weeks," Crapo said. "I still encourage all Idahoans making travel plans into Canada or outside the U.S. to plan well in advance to get their passports. But at least the lengthy delays we have seen over the past year in obtaining a passport appear to be ending."

Crapo also asked Idahoans to keep him abreast of any delays in obtaining passports. He noted his staff is available to assist with any problems or questions regarding passports by contacting any of his state offices. Crapo encourages those making travel plans to visit his website at http://crapo.senate.gov for the latest updates regarding passport information.