I can always tell when three-day weekends are coming up like this one for Memorial Day. Like clockwork, I see a spike in blog traffic as people who are thinking of heading to Mexico by car or foot start worrying about whether they will be stranded at the border if they try to cross back into the United States without a U.S. passport.
As you may recall, it was ok for many years to cross the border at the land ports of entry with a flick of your state driver license. A few years ago, the U.S. government outlined a passport “requirement.” Enforcing this hasn’t exactly been practical, and I continue to hear back from people who say that they are making it back just fine without their passports.
Now I personally think everyone should have a passport, just in case you have an itch to pack your bags and go to…who knows where. However, at the border I don’t use a passport (I have a frequent border crosser SENTRI card), so I rely on readers to share their own border crossing experiences. Here’s a roundup of some of the latest comments people have left on the blog about crossing without a passport:
Here’s one account from reader Rick, who seems to have an affinity for writing in haiku:
“just cross the mexico us border last wekend for the 2nd time no passport only my nevada dl birth certificate ss card no problem only sugested to get my passport soon.”
Here’s a recent first-person account from JLo (you mean, THE JLo? Ok, probably not…)
And NRod, who is getting a bit grumpy about those long border line waits, reminds us all to update our passports:
If travelling by land, pay the $55 to get the passport card. It is well worth it! It gets frustrating when we have to sit in line for 3 hours to come back to the U.S. from an outreach work weekend because people don’t have the proper documentation.
Happy travels south of the border this weekend!