Thursday, September 17, 2009

FreePress Marathon: Do I need a Passport?

Since I'm volunteering tons of time at the expo on Friday and Saturday, working the 5K packet pick up on race-day Sunday and passing out beer (yes, beer) on the route. I have been doing a little knowledge research. Let me just say this in case anyone is Googling trying to figure out if you need a passport to run the race. "Do I need a passport to the run the FreePress Marathon?" The answer is mostly yes. Everybody needs the proper document except and only except those running legs 3, 4 and 5 of the relay and those running the 5K. If you are an individual running the marathon or half-marathon or running either leg 1 or leg 2 of the relay, you MUST have one of the accepted identifications that will allow you to cross into Canada and more importantly back into the United States. You will have to have one of three pieces of identification that are being used to cross the international border from the U.S. and Canada. The three are:

1. Passport book - this baby costs like $100 and takes about 6 weeks to get. Not an option if you are planning on running at this point.

2. Passport card - IMO this is the way to go if ya have to. The cost is $45 and it's good for 10 years and adults who already have a passport book can get one for only $20. You can apply for a passport card by mail or online. You can find the nearest Passport Acceptance Facility. It takes as long to get a passcard this way as it does a passbook! BUT THERE IS HOPE! According to the website for the Detroit Passport Agency, they now issue on-site Passport Cards! It looks like you may have to make an appointment though. But it will be quicker than waiting 6 weeks.

3. Enhanced Driver's License - This you get through the Secretary of State. The cost is $45 for a regular driver's license (chauffer and CDL are more). I'm sure this will expire every 4 years like a normal driver's license. Contact your local Secretary of State for more information.
The passcard and passport fees are outlined on this page. Let me end this little informational session to add that apparently there are other documents that are acceptable. This is from the Homeland Security Department:
Beginning June 1, 2009

• U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry are required to have documents that comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), most commonly a U.S. passport, a passport card, a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST, or an enhanced driver's license. See the complete list of WHTI-compliant documents.
 But I'll let you figure the rest out.

For Googling purposes ignore all this gibberish. tags: passport pass port book passcard card Detroit Canada Marathon run race half marathon half-marathon relay international bridge tunnel

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