US May Relax Passport Policy

Facing killer waits for passports, new anti-terror rules may be suspended
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2007 9:16 AM CDT
US May Relax Passport Policy
Passport seekers line-up outside the U.S. Federal Building in Los Angeles on March 16, 2007. The Bush administration may suspend a major post-9/11 security initiative to cope with increasingly angry complaints from Americans whose summer vacations are threatened by new passport rules. (AP Photo/Nick...   (Associated Press)

With waits for passports now running as long as three months, the feds are considering suspending new anti-terror requirements that caused the nasty backlog. Since January travelers have been required to show a passport when flying to Mexico or Canada; until September 30th, travelers to those destinations will be able to show a receipt proving they applied, rather than an actual passport.

But in January, it's likely to get worse: passports will be required for land and sea travel to those countries as well. "This is a small taste of what we could see when land and sea come on line," says a travel industry spokesman, adding that hundreds of thousands of people have already had their plans disrupted by the delay. (More passport stories.)

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