Washington eases passport rule for summer

Washington “For U.S. citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda who have applied for but not yet received passports can nevertheless temporarily enter and depart from the United States by air with a government issued photo identification and Department of State official proof of application for a passport through September 30, 2007. “

Officials said the “record-breaking demand” at passport offices had led to excessive delays of up to three months.
The revised procedures will remain in place until 30 September.

The federal government is making this accommodation for air travel due to longer than expected processing times for passport applications in the face of record-breaking demand.

Between March and May this year, the State Department issued more than 4.5 million passports.

Washington says extra staff had been recruited to deal with the surge in demand, toll-free phone lines have reportedly been overloaded and passport offices swamped by desperate applicants who have been waiting for months.