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WHTI

Western Hemisphere
Travel Initiative

To strengthen U.S. Border Security while facilitating entry for U.S. Citizens by providing standardized documentation that enables the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler.

What is the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)?

WHTI is the joint Department of State (DOS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to implement a key 9/11 Commission recommendation and the statutory mandates of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA). IRTPA, in part, required the DHS and DOS to develop and implement a plan to require all travelers, U.S. citizens and foreign nationals alike, to present a passport or other acceptable document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the United States.

  • Currently, U.S. Citizens need to present either a passport or passport card or a “WHTI” compliant document or government issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
  • On June 1, 2009 the U.S. Government implemented the full requirements of the land and sea phase of “WHTI”. The rule requires most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry have a “WHTI” compliant document such as:
    • U.S. Passport Card
    • Enhanced Driver's License
    • Enhanced Tribal Card
    • U.S. Passport
    • NEXUS Card - Trusted Travel Program
    • SENTRI Card - Trusted Travel Program
    • FAST Card - Trusted Travel Program
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The goal of the “WHTI” is to strengthen U.S. Border Security while facilitating entry for U.S. Citizens by providing standardized documentation that enables the Department of Homeland Security to quickly and reliably identify a traveler. The Enhanced Tribal Card will show a tribal member’s U.S. citizenship, identity, and state residence.

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