Weedsport, NY — May 27, 2009 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
Public notices have been posted for the past two years and in recent months border agents have been actively offering verbal reminders and handouts, all urging travelers abroad to obtain proper identification that will be required by June 1.
That cut-off date is just about to arrive and come Monday, a typical driver’s license or birth certificate will no longer be accepted. All U.S. travelers seeking re-entrance into the country from Canada, as well as Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean, will now be denied without presenting a valid passport or an equivalent document.
Legal ID is essential for all fans and race teams currently making plans to cross the Canadian border for 2009 championship series events scheduled at tracks in Ontario and Quebec, including Brockville Ontario Speedway, Cornwall Motor Speedway, Autodrome Drummond, Autodrome Edelweiss, Autodrome Granby, Humberstone Speedway and Merrittville Speedway.
Phase I was put into effect by the Departments of State and Homeland Security in January 2007 that required all citizens of the United States and Canada to present a valid passport to enter the U.S. when arriving by air from any part of the Western Hemisphere. Extended more than a year ago from January ‘08, Phase II is on the brink of enactment with everyone coming into the U.S. by land or sea now needing authorized documentation.
While the push for passports was higher two years ago, a demand for enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL) has increased dramatically in recent months with the deadline for acceptable forms of identification approaching quickly. A personal EDL has an enclosed microchip with tracking information and can be used instead of a passport for land and sea travel only.
Although the EDLs are cheaper than passports and easier to obtain, they do not allow air travel and are good for eight years versus 10 for passports. Passport applications usually take 4-6 weeks to process while an EDL is closer to two weeks.
In addition to passport books and EDLs, a wallet-size U.S. passport card and a Nexus document good for pre-approved low-risk travelers are also available to help day-trippers and visitors who make customary crossings by either land or sea. A regular passport is still required for air travel even though the card carries the rights and privileges of the U.S. passport book and is adjudicated to the exact same standards.
Rules remain relaxed for children under 16 who travel by land with family or school groups, in most cases only a birth certificate will suffice.
Further information regarding passports and ID requirements can be obtained by logging into www.travel.state.gov or by calling 877/487-2778.
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds www.cayugacountyfairspeedway.com, home of the 2009 DIRTcar All-Star Weekend, July 17-19, featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Sportsman and Big-Block Modifieds in the richest short-track show of its kind in the nation — the $20,000-to-win Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series “DIRTcar All-Star 100” on Sunday, July 19.