CHANGE IN PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS
Before January 2007, US citizens were able to travel to Canada, Mexico, and many countries in the Caribbean without needing passports. Birth certificates and photo id were sufficient.
The first phase of new passport requirements began January 23, 2007, for air travel: all US citizens -- adults and kids—have needed passports for air travel to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada, in order to enter or re-enter the US.
Arrivals by sea: Beginning June 1, 2009, cruise passengers will be required to have passports for crossing those borders by sea and re-entering from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada.
Land border crossings: Beginning June 1, 2009, travelers going into and returning from Canada and Mexico by land will be required to have passports.
Meanwhile, those without passports definitely need to provide alternative documents: since Jan. 31 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 19 and older must present proof of identity (photo ID) AND proof of citizenship, at border crossings. Children ages 18 and under only need proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
Brentwood Travel strongly urges all travelers and potential travelers who do not currently have a valid passport to apply for one immediately. In that way, you will be ready as soon as you decide to travel. Reminder: new passports are valid for ten years.