Press reports today indicate that the new People Access Security Service (PASS) cards, announced yesterday and intended to serve as a substitute to a passport for U.S. compliance with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), will cost about $50 per person. This story suggests that the PASS cards will include both biometric and RFID technology.
I’m generally supportive of the objectives of the WHTI, but this cost is a lot higher than I would have anticipated. I would not be surprised to see a negative reaction to this price point from members of Congress in border states and districts. There have been a number of newspaper articles in recent months in places like Maine, Texas, and Washington state expressing local concern about the WHTI requirements – and I think it’s likely that this will do little to assuage that concern.