Archive for January 31, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Old Salem Tavern
736 South Main
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
No, I haven’t given up on my quest to eat in all 100 counties yet! It’s just been a while since I have had the chance to go somewhere new. Actually, the Old Salem Tavern isn’t new to me. My parents and I visited Old Salem several times when I was little; I auditioned for NC Governor’s School at Salem College (ended up at the east campus, which was then at St. Andrews in Laurinburg); and I nearly attended Salem College for undergrad. I’ve also met my parents there as a half-way point a couple of times when we get desperate for each other but can’t commit to a whole weekend.
Passport rules for US citizens have been kind of complex as of late. We’ve always needed passports for travel in Europe and other super far away parts of the world, but it used to be a lot easier for closer countries. We could go to the Caribbean with just a drivers license and a birth certificate, and we could go to Mexico and Canada just by telling the border patrol folks that you’re a US citizen. There have been lots of complicated changes lately though.
The initial plan was just to have everyone have a passport, even for Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Then the government decided that was too much of a pain (hello – you have to have enough staff to process all those passport apps!). They changed the rules to say we only needed a passport if we flew back from Mexico or Canada. If we traveled by land or sea, we just needed a declaration plus a government-issued photo ID. It’s all very confusing for those without passports. So what’s the story right now?
Air travel: Everyone must have a passport to fly into the US.
Land travel: As of today, US and Canadian citizens entering the US must have either (1) a passport or (2) a government-issued photo ID plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate. Children 18 and under may get by with just the proof of citizenship.
Sea travel: As of today, it’s the same deal as land travel.
The good folks on NPR said that the border patrol will probably let people through based on the old guidelines for a little while and give those people a warning.
My advice? Get a passport. Make sure to keep it current. Don’t leave the country without it.
Passport image from City of Orange.