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Truck Topics

Passports Required

By Sandy Long
Posted Jan 30th 2013 4:32AM

EPassports.jpgPlanning to take one of the many trucking group cruises? Planning to haul freight into Mexico or Canada? If so, you will need a passport due to security measures.   Getting one’s passport used to be easier than these days, but the process is still fairly simple.   Depending on the way you go about getting your passport and how quickly you need it, it can take from one-half of a day to six weeks and the fees vary.   Passports for adults need be renewed every 10 years.

Some United States Post Offices offer passport services, those locations can be found online or obtained by calling the post office.  The US State Department also has passport agencies in most states.  You can find them by going to their website .  If this will be your first passport, you will need to apply in person.   However, you can obtain an application for a passport online, fill it out and then print it out.  Do not sign it until instructed to do so by the Acceptance Agent at the agency.  Appointments are usually required to apply for passports.  

From the US State Department website :


To prove citizen status and identity, you will need to provide:

Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state* Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth Naturalization Certificate Certificate of Citizenship


You will also need proof of identification, documents accepted are:

Previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport Naturalization Certificate Valid Driver's License Current Government ID (city, state or federal) Current Military ID (military and dependents)

All documents have to be current.

Bring a photocopy of the front and back of each ID document that you will present when you apply.

Photocopy must be on plain white, 8 ½” x 11" standard paper stock, showing the front and the back of your ID Photocopy must contain images on only one-side of each page submitted. If copies cannot be made on the same side of one page, you may present two separate pages; one displaying the front of the ID and the second displaying the back of the ID. The paper should be free of other images and/or markings. The 8 ½” x 11" paper size cannot be substituted with a larger or smaller size paper, even if the alternative folds down to the 8 ½” x 11" size. You may enlarge the image of your ID on the 8 ½” x 11" page, but you may not decrease the size of the image.


Other situations that require a photocopy of identification, but are less common, include:

If you are presenting    Secondary Identification , you must provide a photocopy of the front and back of each document being presented with your application.  A photocopy of your credit card will not be requested if it is to be presented with  Secondary Identification . If you submit out-of-state primary identification, you must provide a photocopy of your primary identification document and the second ID to be presented with your application. Both sides of all identification documents must be photocopied according to the photocopy requirements above. If a credit card is presented as your second ID, a photocopy will not be requested. An assistant to a disable applicant who witnesses the signature or signs on the disabled applicant's behalf must present a photocopy of his or her ID A person acting as an Identifying Witness must present a photocopy of his or her ID.


You must provide one passport photo (the post office says two photos).   The requirements for the photo are:

In color Printed on photo quality paper 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.  View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details. Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis: Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily. Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face. Headphones, wireless hands-free devices or similar items are not acceptable in your photo. If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo. Dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required) Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo.  Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.


Situations where you may be denied a passport

If you have an outstanding warrant If you are considered by the State Department as a flight risk for a pending trial If, after a manual review, the State Department concludes that you present a risk to yourself or others overseas.


If you are just entering expedite or trucking in general, make whether they run across either borders one of your questions to ask in choosing a company.  This way, if you are interested in working for that specific company, you can apply for your passport before you need it.   If you have past felony conviction(s) or owe back child support, Canada will not allow you into their country.

4 Comments

  • - February 1, 2013
    Ken Amor-=|=-Actually wrong info here....for a LAND crossing a passport is NOT required as per Western Travel Initiatives Dept of Homeland Security.
    http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/lang_eng/index.html

    A passport is only required for AIR travel.Notice the copied text below states you only need ONE of the following....
    U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea, are required to present one of the travel documents listed below.

    U.S. Passport – This is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person’s identity and nationality. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.

    U.S. Passport Card – This is a new, limited-use travel document that fits in your wallet and costs less than a
    U.S. Passport. It is only valid for travel by land and sea.

    Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – Several states
    and Canadian provinces are issuing this driver’s license
    or identification document that denotes identity and citizenship. It is specifically designed for cross-border travel into the U.S. by land or sea.

    Trusted Traveler Program Cards – Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and are issued only to pre-approved, low-risk travelers. The cards are valid for use at land or sea; the NEXUS card can be used in airports with a NEXUS kiosk.

    Special Groups – Information for Children, Groups of Children, Native Americans, "Closed Loop" Cruises, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents, U.S. Military, Merchant Mariners, Ferries and Small Boats, and Boaters.
  • - February 1, 2013
    Ken Amor-=|=-Actually wrong info here....for a LAND crossing a passport is NOT required as per Western Travel Initiatives Dept of Homeland Security.
    http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/lang_eng/index.html

    A passport is only required for AIR travel.Notice the copied text below states you only need ONE of the following....
    U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea, are required to present one of the travel documents listed below.

    U.S. Passport – This is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person’s identity and nationality. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.

    U.S. Passport Card – This is a new, limited-use travel document that fits in your wallet and costs less than a
    U.S. Passport. It is only valid for travel by land and sea.

    Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – Several states
    and Canadian provinces are issuing this driver’s license
    or identification document that denotes identity and citizenship. It is specifically designed for cross-border travel into the U.S. by land or sea.

    Trusted Traveler Program Cards – Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and are issued only to pre-approved, low-risk travelers. The cards are valid for use at land or sea; the NEXUS card can be used in airports with a NEXUS kiosk.

    Special Groups – Information for Children, Groups of Children, Native Americans, "Closed Loop" Cruises, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents, U.S. Military, Merchant Mariners, Ferries and Small Boats, and Boaters.
  • - February 1, 2013
    Ken Amor-=|=-further: from the Authors own reference site, The State Dept.

    Travel Documents: Both the U.S. and Canadian governments urge frequent travelers to join the NEXUS trusted traveler program. NEXUS members receive a special travel card that allows expedited border crossings for both private and commercial travelers through both U.S. and Canadian border controls.

    If a U.S. citizen traveling to Canada does not have a passport, passport card, or approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, they must show a government-issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License) and proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport. Children under 16 need only present proof of U.S. citizenship. (Please see below for important information concerning re-entry into the United States.)

    U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country must have a valid U.S. passport.

    When returning to the United States from Canada, it is very important to note that all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the United States via air. For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document. The only exception to this requirement is for U.S. citizens under the age of 16 (or under 19, if traveling with a school, religious, or other youth group) who need only present a birth certificate (original, photocopy or certified copy), Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or naturalization certificate.

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1082.html
  • - February 1, 2013
    Ken Amor-=|=-further: from the Authors own reference site, The State Dept.

    Travel Documents: Both the U.S. and Canadian governments urge frequent travelers to join the NEXUS trusted traveler program. NEXUS members receive a special travel card that allows expedited border crossings for both private and commercial travelers through both U.S. and Canadian border controls.

    If a U.S. citizen traveling to Canada does not have a passport, passport card, or approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, they must show a government-issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License) and proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport. Children under 16 need only present proof of U.S. citizenship. (Please see below for important information concerning re-entry into the United States.)

    U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country must have a valid U.S. passport.

    When returning to the United States from Canada, it is very important to note that all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the United States via air. For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document. The only exception to this requirement is for U.S. citizens under the age of 16 (or under 19, if traveling with a school, religious, or other youth group) who need only present a birth certificate (original, photocopy or certified copy), Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or naturalization certificate.

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1082.html

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