Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 24, 2006

DHS and State Dept issue WHTI air regs

Filed under: Border Security — by Christian Beckner on November 24, 2006

The final regulations for the air travel portion of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) were published in the Federal Register today, available at this link. The publication today means that regulations will go into effect 60 days from today – January 23, 2006 – and will require U.S. citizens and non-immigrant aliens to present a passport when departing or arriving internationally within North America.

The most interesting part of the document is the regulatory analysis, which includes an estimate that 4 million people will need to purchase passports as a result of this regulation in the first year after the rules go into effect, and a significantly lower number in subsequent years. And the document keeps open the possibility that REAL ID-compliant drivers’ licenses could be a future option for WHTI compliance, depending upon how states implement these rules in the coming years.

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