MIAMI – The last phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) comes into effect on Monday, June 1st and requires all American citizens to present a US passport or US passport card upon reentry to the United States by land, sea and air.
To meet local demand, the Miami Passport Agency has improved operations by moving to the revived Omni Center north of downtown, next to the Miami Herald building.
“Passport demand in South Florida has always been high and I foresee that the new travel requirements will greatly impact us here in Miami because we are a gateway to the Caribbean and the Americas. Our new facility was designed to meet the needs of our Floridian customers ” said Ryan Dooly, Regional Director of the Miami Passport Agency.
The June 1st deadline requires citizens to present the traditional US passport book or the new passport card upon reentry to the US by land and sea – both documents are produced locally at the Miami agency. The new passport card, the size of a credit card, is less expensive than the book and was made specifically for land and sea travel. So far in 2009, the Department of State has produced over 400,000 of these new cards.
The public can apply for passports at over 60 acceptance facilities in the Miami-Dade area that include post offices and clerks of courts. Appointments are needed to apply through the Miami Passport Agency and applicants need to prove they are travelling within two weeks.