The penalties may be graver than you think!
In compliance with international international law, one needs to have a valid passport whenever crossing the US border. Additionally, if you’re crossing the Mexican/Canadian border by land or sea, you could also use a passport card, as well as various other government-issued documents.
The law which dictates the above has been in place for upwards of seven years and when a US citizens attempt to cross the border by land without a passport or other accepted proof of identity, the consequences are rough!
Still, It’s estimated that up to 1% of US travelers entering the US lacks proper ID!
So, exactly what does happen if you enter the US without a passport?
If you’re driving or even walking back into America from Canada or Mexico and you don’t have a passport with you, you should be prepared for some serious hassles.
Although you won’t be necessarily denied entry to the United States, you can be sure that you’ll get taken out of line and subsequently interviewed by US Customs and Border Patrol officers. Your return to the US will be delayed until the officials are satisfied that you are a US citizen.
Fines aren’t so fine!
As it stands, there is no determined fine for US citizens who don’t show a proper passport when at the border crossing. However, as of late, an amendment was proposed, which would serve to fine on any US citizen who attempts to re-enter the United States passport-less.
Before you panic, this rule is still in the review stage (although It’s being taken seriously). Additionally, this fee is intended to cover the lofty costs of the “extra” inspection/security measures required to admit a US citizen without that essential passport document.
Be sure to message us at ePassportPhoto to get quick guidance from our representatives!