Today's the day that you can no longer leave/enter the US without one.
Originally Posted by WCBSNew Passport Rules Begin For Air Travelers
(CBS) NEWARK Starting on Tuesday new passport rules go into effect, so you'll need to pack your passport before flying from the United States to Canada, Mexico and Bermuda.
Expect to be delayed if you don't have your passport. More changes go into effect on Tuesday for travelers: You will now need a passport every time you want to fly back home to the United States.
At this point, not even a birth certificate or a driver's license will be enough. And in the past two months passport applications have gone up at least 60 percent.
The demand for passports could soon be at an all-time high thanks to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative from Homeland Security.
Americans need to use a U.S. passport when they fly between the U.S. and any point in the Western Hemisphere. It is all in an effort to tighten border security.
Brad Bevington had vacationed in Mexico without a passport before, but will be affected by the rule changes.
"Several cruises before, I only used a driver's license. Because of this law I got a passport specifically," Bevington said.
According to Dean Boyle of the U.S. Department of State, "One of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission was unifying the passports. There were 8,000 birth certificates used before."
Effective on Tuesday, even a newborn flying back to the United States must have a passport.
And, if you don't have one of these little blue books in hand, expect to be grilled by U.S. Customs agents, and expect to be delayed.
Keep in mind, you can apply for a U.S. passport at the Post Office, but it takes four to six weeks to process. If you need one sooner than that, last-minute passports are available through regional offices or private passport service companies.
The State department says similar passport rules for passengers entering the United States by land or sea could go into effect by this time next year