The advent of the new passport "substitute," the PASS card, has been announced at last -- a federal rule proposing the development of the inexpensive card-format passport for international travel by US citizens through land and sea entry points between the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda has been submitted for public comment. According to the Department of State, the PASS (People Access Security Service) card "...will be adjudicated to the same standards as a traditional passport book." A PASS card will cost $10 for kids and $20 for adults, plus a $25 execution fee; an adult US passport costs $95.
Production of the long-awaited PASS card, the idea of which was discussed by the Department of Homeland Security in January 2006, should ease the worries of the student travel industry that a new passport requirement
, slated to take effect in January, 2008 and June, 2009, will hamper international student travel around North America partly because of passport acquisition costs. Passports will be required then for re-entry to the US by land or sea from all countries, and by January 23 by air; currently, US citizens may cross borders to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Panama while bearing only a driver's license and birth certificate. The proposed PASS passport card, which can't be used for global travel, will utilize a long-range radio frequency identification (RFID) technology
to link it to a secure U.S. guv database with all your bio data and photo. Don't like that part? Do like the PASS card idea? Make a comment on Uncle Sam's site