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DANE COUNTY RESIDENTS REMINDED TO GET PASSPORTS NOW TO HONOR HOMELAND SECURITY LAW CHANGES

For more information contact:

Joanne Haas, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/29/2006

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Dane County residents today were reminded to secure their passports now for any foreign travel by air in 2007 to make sure they are in compliance with the nation's Homeland Security law.

County Executive Kathleen Falk and Register of Deeds Jane Licht said a federal law change set for Jan. 23, 2007, will require passports for air travelers between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean and Bermuda. An Air NEXUS card or a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document also will be accepted under the federal law.

In addition, as early as January 1, 2008, all persons traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda by land or sea, in addition to air, may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by Homeland Security.

"It’s worth it to get your passport now even if you are not planning a trip,” Falk said, adding many people may not know of the law change. “We’d like to help people avoid a ruined trip because they didn’t know of the law change. And, emergencies happen so it is best to have the passport at the ready if necessary.”

Licht agreed and said citizens may not realize getting a passport also requires a certified copy of a birth certificate. “It may take longer to get this documentation for those born outside of Wisconsin,” she said.

For information on how to get a passport, visit: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html or call the U.S. Post Office at 608-246-1360.

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