Minnesota state residents will soon be using enhanced Minnesota driver’s licenses to re-enter the United States from Canada. The new driver’s licenses will work like a U.S. passport. The new license will contain encoded data required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for entry from Canada to Minnesota.
This concept is not completely new as Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington State already offer the enhanced driver’s license option. While there is an additional $15 charge for Minnesota drivers who choose to renew their licenses with the passport option, it’s less expensive than the alternative of shelling out $100 for a U.S. passport or $85 for a passport card.
In addition to being used as proof of driving privileges, the enhanced licenses also are acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship. They are not only valid to cross the Canadian borders, but are also valid for Mexican borders by road, rail, or sea. Air travel still requires a traditional passport book due to International Civil Aviation Organization regulations.
In case you’re wondering what U.S. citizens age 16 and younger who do not yet have driver’s licenses can do, they can continue to use their birth certificates as identification at the border.
Many Canadians and Minnesota natives applaud the new legislation as the passport requirement had been stunting economic activity and travel to Northland communities and businesses. The change also allows plenty of Canadian-licensed drivers to enter Minnesota using their enhanced licenses as well.
Minnesotans, don’t run out to the Department of Motor Vehicles just yet. You will be able to purchase the new licenses at DMV locations throughout Minnesota beginning June 1, 2012.
If you are interested in getting a US Passport or US Passport Card, visit us at http://www.rushpassport.com or call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with a Live Agent. (877) 937-7277 (All 50 States) or (212) 643-9305 New York Agency.