If you can shorten the time for passenger vehicles to cross the border between the United States and Canada, more resources can be devoted to clearing commercial trucks. One would think. From The Winnipeg Sun:
Manitobans may not need passports to drive to Grand Forks for the weekend even after new U.S. border crossing rules kick in some time in the next two years.
Manitoba and North Dakota are in the early stages of a plan that — if given the approval of both federal governments — could see the province and the state each issue enhanced driver’s licences that would be acceptable identification for crossing the border in lieu of a passport.
The Department of Homeland Security in March approved a pilot plan for Washington State drivers to use enhanced licenses for crossing into British Columbia (home of the 2010 Winter Olympics).
They will look much like conventional driver’s licenses, but will be loaded with proof of citizenship and other information that can be easily scanned at the border.
Radio frequency ID chips and other advanced security features also would make the enhanced licenses less vulnerable to forgery. At about $40, they also would be less expensive than a $97 passport.
Governor Christine Gregoire’s news release from March is here.
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