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Author Topic: Passport Requirements?  (Read 5640 times)

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Jighead

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Passport Requirements?
« on: December 28, 2007, 07:25:03 PM »

Hey Dan,

Have you heard anything from Anthony about how they're going to handle this?  My understanding from everything I read is that passports (or possibly just birth certificates?) are going to be required if you're stopped on the water and searched.

I'm dying to call FLW and find out myself, but I didn't want to be another in a long list of guys bugging them about this.  Anything?

dashaver63

Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 11:19:31 PM »

I just sent a question about that to the Department of Homeland Security. If anyone would like, here are the phone numbers they gave me to call since they say it could take up to 2 months to get an answer.
"Due to the backlog of emails if you intend to travel or require assistance within the next two (2) months please call toll free 1-877-227-5511 or 202-354-1000 and speak with a representative. "

I will try to call ASAP because I am quite curious about this myself. If I can find time to do this next week, I'll post what ever I find out. I'm sure I'll be quite backed up when I go back to work Wednesday.
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djkimmel

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Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007, 11:29:42 PM »

I've heard nothing about FLW Outdoors' policy on this yet. May see Anthony at Novi so I'll ask if I don't talk to him before then. I have a feeling FLW Outdoors may just say that knowing local and following all local regulations is the responsibility of all participants.

I'm guessing that only because there is no clear, definitive answer yet on this issue for this summer. I carry a certified copy of my birth certificate, but that may end up not being good enough to avoid a trip to an official border check point at a bad time, so I plan on getting a passport, getting it over with.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.

Jighead

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Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2007, 08:26:09 AM »

My big concern is this:  Two times last year my co-anglers didn't have their Canadian licenses.  This is even though it states on the confirmation letter that they are required.  No big deal - it's their loss (idiots!)- I'm still going fishing with no real fear of getting in trouble myself.  They can sit down and watch and it won't bother me one bit.

But if I get stopped by the USCG or border patrol, and I have someone in my boat without the proper documentation of citizenship then I feel I could be in trouble myself.  It could really screw up my day as a boater in a BIG BIG way.  It's a whole lot different than not having a fishing license.

If they can't get these guys from out-of-state to show up with the proper licenses, how are they going to get them to show up with birth certificates or passports?

Saying that it's up to the participants to follow all local regulations is great - to a point.  We all know about this because we live in a border state with one of the busiest border crossings in the nation.  This is big news for us so it is on local t.v. an in local newspapers and we are aware.  Not so sure if it's the same case (pretty sure it's not) for those anglers coming from Indiana, Ohio, and heck, even western Michigan.

They really need to say something in the confirmation letters to make everyone aware of this new requirement.  There is no question that as of January 31, 2008 a birth certificate and driver's license, at a minimum, will be required for land and sea travel.  This can be confirmed on the Department of Homeland Security's website.

The information on the website goes on to say that at a yet to be determined date in 2008, passports will be the only accepted form of ID.

www.travel.state.gov

www.cbp.gov

REEL_MAN

Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2007, 06:26:59 PM »

The passport is going to be necessary whether it's this year or next. It is going to be required. You might as well bite the bullet and get NOW. The lead time to get the passport could take a few months from what I'm hearing.  It's also good identification when flying.
Remember to smile and they won't let you wear your fishin cap

REEL MAN
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dashaver63

Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2007, 11:53:10 AM »

Well, I just confirmed in a telephone conversation with the Detroit Field Operations Office and a passport will be required just to be able to fish Canadian water. Looks like I will try to transfer my tournament registrations to the Buckeye division. It really is a shame because I had such a great time last year. The only way I will be able to fish Michigan again this year is if they close Canada. I really hope they don't do that just for the sake of trying to make sure everyone complies with federal regulations. This is going to be a BIG mess. Not only for tournament anglers but also for every boater on any body of water that has an international border. When I asked how it was going to be determined if someone had actually crossed the border, knowingly or unknowingly, I got the standard "I don't know" reply. She did go on to say that 99% of all activity will be focused on Ports of Entry.
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dashaver63

Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2007, 05:15:23 PM »

$97.00 dollars for 10 years of headache free fishing? I guess I'll be getting one. Besides, I doubt I'll need to worry about renewing one. By time it comes time to renew it, I'll be to old to worry about it. Plus, who knows what the next 10 years will bring as far as tournament bass fishing goes. I would like to think that nothing much will change over that time, but we live in a world of change now more than ever. We may not even be allowed to cross any borders by then, by land, air OR sea.( I didn't know Lake Erie was a sea, I guess it's just a general term.)
(To be read in your best Forrest Gump voice LOL)
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djkimmel

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Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2007, 05:49:08 PM »

Similar to many regulations, laws and even insurance, when language refers to coast waters, most people think of the oceans, but the Great Lakes are included in most definitions of coastal waters I have seen.

Interesting because I have one tournament director who claims he has a letter stating passports will not be required now until 2009?? I told him I was skeptical at best and wonder if it is just another example of ask 5 offices and divisions, and get 5 different answers we are so used to this region?

I will do some more research with regional and national sources to see if I can get any kind of clear answer on the latest. My feeling is that there is no clear answer yet, so I will say we should still plan on getting a passport to be safe rather than sorry.

If I can find out there has been an official change, I will make a point of saying it HAS to be disseminated accurately and thoroughly since I know we are all tired of conflicting messages.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.

dashaver63

Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2007, 08:09:56 PM »

Dan, I did read on another website that it has been moved again to June 1, 2009. It might be a case that the DHS websites have not been updated yet. But like you, I'll wait and see what comes of it. I don't know the name of the woman I talked to from the Detroit Field Office today, But she did say that most of the activity will be focused on official ports of entry.
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dashaver63

Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2007, 10:45:28 PM »

http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=806140

June 1, 2009 now according to this release.
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Jighead

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Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2008, 04:10:43 PM »

That appears to be good news for the upcomming season.  But I will feel alot better when the information is changed on the US Customs and Border Protection website www.cbp.gov.  The information there is dated Dec. 3, 2007.

Whether it happens this year or next, it certainly looks to be inevitable.

This whole issue was touched upon in BASS Times a couple of months back.  They stated that when the ABA was mapping out tournaments for the BASS Weekend Series they uncovered the new requirements.  It was their decision to put Canadian waters off-limits because of it.

dashaver63

Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2008, 04:42:00 PM »

http://cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/land_travel/ref_material/whti_ls_faq.ctt/whti_ls_faq.pd

The above link is to an FAQ provided by DHS. Scroll down to page 5. There is a question about commercial and private fishing vessels. It state that as long as the vessel does not call on a foriegn port, it will be treated as not leaving U.S. waters. No passport will be needed.
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Jighead

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Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2008, 08:19:41 PM »

http://cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/land_travel/ref_material/whti_ls_faq.ctt/whti_ls_faq.pd

The above link is to an FAQ provided by DHS. Scroll down to page 5. There is a question about commercial and private fishing vessels. It state that as long as the vessel does not call on a foriegn port, it will be treated as not leaving U.S. waters. No passport will be needed.
THANK YOU!!!  I came across that once about a month back and haven't been able to find it since.  I thought I remembered reading something about that.

So maybe this is all a big to-do about nothing in a tournament situation?  Personally, I think it'll still pay to have one as much as I'm out there. 

VinceR

Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2008, 10:42:29 AM »

A word of advice for those of you that do plan to apply for your passports, DO IT NOW! I applied for mine last year. I sent in my paperwork (and photos) on February 16th (2007). I did not receive my passport until the last week in May.

As summer (and the peak travel season) approaches, the number of passport applications increase, creating delays in processing. Right now, the State Department website is stating a four, to six week processing time (same as last year when I first applied for mine). This will increase as we approach the peak travel seasons. You can request expedited service (at an additional cost), to speed things up.
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Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2008, 10:43:03 AM »

I think Jighead might be right.  It'll probably be easier just to have one asap.  Lately it seems like they are slowing you down at the border if you don't have a passport, to send a message that you will need one.  I don't know if that's on purpose or not, but I have noticed lately when I cross the border with my passport, I get through with less questions and a whole lot faster.  It could be a coincidence, not totally sure.  But last year when I crossed once, a border patrolman gave me grief because I didn't have a birth certificate with me, even though it wasn't required yet.  I think he was trying to make me understand that without one, I would have trouble crossing in the future.  So I was delayed a few minutes dealing with him at the border.

It might be different on the water, but I'd guess that if you do get stopped on the water in Canada and you do have your passport, it'll probably be a shorter stop which can save valuable minutes in a tournament.  Just a thought.

Regarding expedited passports, call the post office and ask them when they'll be at the mall.  I went to the mall one day, paid the extra $$ and got my passport in a matter of weeks.  I think it took about 5 weeks if I remember correctly.  I had to travel out of the country, so I needed it in a hurry and doing it that way worked out great.
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KG

Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2008, 12:09:10 PM »

So, just so I understand correctly. Are you all saying that I should bring my passport with me if I am just fishing in canadian waters. I have always just brought my MI and Canadian fishing licenses with me. Please let me know, so I can be sure to pack it.
Side note: I went to the county offices and applied for my passport, with no special rush order, and received it in only 3 weeks. I would caution against going through the post office. Everyone I have talked to seems to have a long wait when going through the post office.
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Jighead

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Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2008, 03:58:16 PM »

I spoke about the requirements with a couple of people at US Customs and Border Patrol in Port Huron a few weeks back.  I really feel that I finally got the right explanation about it since two people gave the same answer.  The first one thought he knew, and explained to me the requirements.  He then transfered me to the person that he felt should really know, and I got the same answer.  Again, they both gave the exact same answers.  And it echoes what was posted in another thread on the same topic, as well as a FAQ's document from the Department of Homeland Security on border crossing requirements.

No additional forms of I.D. or citizenship (i.e. passport, birth certificate, voter registration, etc.) are required for crossing the border to fish in Canada and returning to the US without having docked, anchored, or otherwise landed in Canada.  If you leave US waters by boat solely to boat or fish in Canadian water and do not touch land, you are NOT considered having "departed" the US and therefore no additional proof of citizenship is required upon return.

I posed the question to both gentlemen as a charter captain wishing to fish Canadian waters of St. Clair and Erie from time to time, and whose business is directly affected by the requirements.  I asked "What documentation do I need to tell my clients to bring with them in addition to their fishing licenses?"  The response was very clear; At this time, for the upcoming boating season, their is no requirement for additional proof of citizenship such as a passport or birth certificate by any party on the boat.

I'm comfortable with the answer that I got.  The contact info for the gentleman that I spoke with was posted in another thread titled, I believe, Border Crossing Requirements.  He was very helpful with his explanation and was not at all put off by my direct phone call.

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Re: Passport Requirements?
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2008, 10:37:41 AM »

Thanks for getting that clarification Jighead.  It makes a lot of sense.  That's pretty much what I heard also, so it sounds like the straight story.
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