Travel Tip: Now You Need a Passport for Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, or Bermuda
By Lori Appling
As of January 23, 2007, if you're traveling between countries in the Western Hemisphere by air, you'll need a passport. For some destinations, a birth certificate or driver's license used to be enough. No longer. The new rule applies to air travel only. And as early as January 2008, you'll need your passport when traveling by boat or on land, too.
The message? Get a passport now.
Allow the U.S. government six weeks to process your application, which costs $97. Or, for an additional $30, hurry the process and get your passport in two weeks.
You'll find details and forms at the official government website .
If you're really in a rush, a "passport expediter" can - for a fee on top of the government-processing fee, of course - have your passport to you in as little as 24 hours. Here are two such providers:
- Passports and Visas - $149 gets you a passport in 24 hours, $119 in 2-3 business days; $89 guarantees you'll have it in 4-6 business days, and for $59 you'll have it in 7-10 business days.
- American Passport Express - $179 gets you a passport in 24 hours, $129 in 2-3 business days; $99 guarantees you'll have it in 4-6 business days, and for $59 you'll have it in 6-9 business days.