Starting June 1, the federal government is tightening ID rules for US citizens re-entering the country from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
Till now, if you were coming back into the country from those places by land or sea you only needed to show proof of identity and US citizenship so a driver's license and birth certificate would do it. If you were flying in you basically needed a passport.
After June 1, all will need a passport, passport card, or other approved ID (here's where you can find a list).
Right now, the government says it takes about four to six weeks to process a full passport application or two to three weeks if you're willing to pay for expedited service. Applications for passport cards, which are cheaper but can only be used for land or sea travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda but not for international air travel (If you're interested, I wrote about the difference last year), take about four to six weeks.
If you still have a little time before your trip and are a Patriots fan, the team is sponsoring a special night on June 4 from 4-8 p.m. at which travelers can apply for a passport at Gillette Stadium’s Fidelity Investments Clubhouse. The event is free. The team is sponsoring the event to promote its Oct. 25 exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium in London. If fact, everyone who shows up to apply for a passport will become eligible to win two free tickets to the game.
AP file photo