US passports are good for 10 years. There is a lot of conflicting info out there on when we will need a passport to get into US from Canada and from Mexico, are you going by sea, or land. Even my postmaster(mistress) is confused, she thinks we will need USA passport to get back from Canada this January. From reading that web site I posted a page or two back in this thread, I don't see that. What I see is that they announced ONE thing, then decided it would create too much panic buying, which of course, would mean that the officials would have to really work (OUCH, did I say that????) So, they changed the dates. IF, I read the page right, and there are no promises that I did, they can change their minds again and change the dates again.
I think Mexico you will be OK to go across and back with a drivers license and/or birth certificate this coming winter season. Even Canada. After December 2006, I think you will have trouble getting back from Canada without a passport.
SOOOO, seeing that there is really only a 1 year grace, if we want to go into Canada, say to Niagara Falls, or up to Alaska, Al and I have decided to just renew ours NOW. Hopefully we will not have a long delay due to a rush for new passports.
I believe that Katrina may have already made a mess with passport applications, and it already might take a bit longer to get them.
NOW, my disclaimer. HA HA, I may have misread the pages I was reading, there was a lot of information and I am sure it should be read more than once, even more than two times.
Have heard that if you go into Mexico right now, it is easier to get back with the passport.
Those walking into a border town for shopping and mob fixes, probably can get back and forth pretty easy with the driver's license or birth certificate.
Al and I figure we might waste 1/10th of our passport fee by getting early. We have the time right now, hopefully we will miss any huge rush for passports, and while it is on our minds, it is just easier to get it over with.
Everyone will make their own decision based on their needs and desires, ain't it a grand world?? See ya in the passport line!