I was surprised to see individuals’ passport photos on the front page of Monday’s (Oct. 16) Clarion. It seems entirely appropriate for a newspaper to document a local event and remind travelers of pending new rules. But it struck me as odd that the Post Office staff would allow passport applicants’ photographs to be published in a newspaper (and therefore on the Internet).
I am very open about my own and my family’s travel. But some people, for reasons of romance, business, domestic violence, or a general desire for privacy, might not want their passport application made so public. I do applaud the convenience and public-education aspects of this Post Office event, though.
I also question the currency of the “starting Dec. 31 (2006), ... by land or sea” passport requirement. I was seeing that from numerous sources a few months ago. But the State Department website referenced in the article and more specifically, http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html, lists Jan 8, 2007 as the change date for travel by air and January 1, 2008 by land or sea (including ferries), and suggests that this date might slip further. To June 2009, if Congress’s most recent rescheduling makes it into law.
So one still have a year or two to drive the Alaskan Highway (something I highly recommend) with just a driver’s license and a birth certificate.
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