Starting yesterday, thanks to the Department of Homeland Security, all Americans will need more I.D. to re-enter the U.S. by car from Canada. (Until now, only a driver's license or birth certificate was required.)
You must now provide border agents with two forms of identification. (If you have a passport, you'll only need to show that.)
The two documents must be a proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, and a government-issued photo ID, like a driver's license. Details and fine print can be found at the State Department's website (travel.state.gov).
My wife and I went to Seattle last year, and took a side trip to Vancouver. We waited in line for over an hour at Customs. I wonder how much worse the lines will be if the border agents need to verify several documents now. (My wife and I sped through at the gate itself as we had our passports ready.)
A new rule is expected to go into effect by summer 2009. That rule is expected to require U.S. citizens present a passport or a passport card when crossing the Canadian border and when doing other land/sea border entries.
Of course, a larger issue remains: Should you need a passport to visit Canada? Our blog readers recently posted more than 100 impassioned comments about this topic. Read the comments by clicking here, and feel free to chime in.