U.S. tightens border crossing rules

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The U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security have announced that as of Jan. 31, oral declarations of citizenship no longer will be accepted for Canadian and U.S. citizens crossing into the United States.

Travelers now must present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, and proof of identity, such as a driver’s license. Documents that prove both, such as a passport, also will be accepted. Trusted traveler programs, such as NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST, also will continue to be accepted.

DHS recently established a final rule for its REAL ID regulation, a program to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The rule sets standards to enhance the reliability of licenses and ID cards, DHS said Friday, Jan. 11.

Under the DHS rule, citizens born after Dec. 1, 1964, would have six years to get a new license, while older Americans would have until 2017.