Paper padlocks


All across the northern border, people are upset about new rules requiring passports or birth certificates to get back into the United States. Maybe it’s not a big deal if you only travel to Canada every now and then, but if you live along the border, it’s a big deal, and a big hassle. In Detroit this morning, though, the new rules reportedly went smoothly.

Tom Robertson of MPR takes a great look at the reality in International Falls.

But in addition to the hassle, there’s another frustration to the new rule: It’s going to cost you money. A passport card, a new version of the passport, will run you $45 because the government has tacked on a “fee” to its cost of giving you one. $10 for kids, $20 for adults and a $25 execution fee. But the card can’t be used for air travel.

Meanwhile, the government is jacking up the cost of a regular passport tomorrow, when it shoots up to $100 for people over 16, $85 for kids. You can get a passport at a post office.

So, a family of four may pay almost $400 just to cross the border.

For crossing the border by land, a birth certificate may be used. Minnesotans can start the process of getting one here. It’ll cost you $16 for each certificate. If you’re in a hurry (an average wait is said to be 4-6 weeks), that’ll cost you another $20 a pop and if you pay by credit card, tack on an additional $6.

In this case, the family of four could pay up to $165 to comply with the new rules.

The days of using a Blockbuster card to gain entry are over.

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