Starting January 23, 2007 Canadians travelling to the U.S. by air will need a passport. Even though the deadline for this American initiative has been extended twice, it will not likely be delayed a third time so get ready for longer wait times at the passport office.
According to Passport Canada, there is a sharp increase in applications in all of its offices. In November (2006) alone, they received more than 355,000 applications - a 33 per cent increase compared to November 2005.
If your passport has expired, which happens every 5 years, or if you've never had one, and you want to fly to the United States, you'll need to get one.
How to get your Canadian Passport:
Get the proper passport forms in one of the following ways:
- Use 'Passport On-line' at the Passport Canada website.This is an interactive online form available only to Canadians 16 years of age or over that takes 20 to 40 minutes to complete.
- Download the form available through the Passport Canada website.
- Or, pick-up your application at any Canada Post Outlet or Service Canada Centre. Find the one nearest you.
Be sure to follow all instructions carefully on the passport application or you could face delays in receiving your passport.
If you need additional information you can call Passport Canada at 1-800-567-6868 or visit them online at www.ppt.gc.ca.
For at least another year, Canadians travelling to the United States by land and sea can continue to use documents such as birth certificates and drivers' licenses, which provide proof of citizenship and identity.
In addition to getting your passport in order, you will need to take care of your travel insurance needs as well. If you are interested in getting the cheapest rate, the best way to do this is to shop around. You can do this quickly and easily online at Kanetix.ca. Start your travel insurance shopping. Take care, be safe and enjoy your trip to the U.S.