Passport law changes complicate travel plans

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January 19, 2007

The word is finally starting to spread to everyone flying out of the country: you must have a passport if you want to come home.

The first phase of the new homeland security law begins Tuesday and requires a passport for anyone traveling to countries like Canada, Mexico, and hot vacation spots like the Bahamas or Jamaica.

The process isn't easy for everyone. Passports are now required for all children, even newborns...and the McCall family is really feeling the time crunch. They had to wait for a birth certificate for their infant son, Maleak, before they could apply for a passport for him.

Birth certificates take at least six weeks to arrive, and passports take another six weeks, but Maleak is supposed to be with his mother in Germany in February.

The McCalls are paying double to expedite the passport, but its arrival isn't guaranteed.

Now those driving across the border or taking cruises are not required to have a passport just yet.

That phase of the plan doesn't begin until 2008.

If you are in need of a passport, go as soon as possible to give yourself plenty of time. You will need a photo ID, two recent pictures and your birth certificate. The cost is just under $100 per passport.