New Passport Requirement

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Twenty seven days left until Christmas, may give you enough time to stuff those stockings, but you'll be cutting it close if you're trying to get a passport in time to fly overseas.

After the new year, flying won't be the only reason you'll need to flash a passport, the State Department is phasing in a new requirement. Starting next summer anyone traveling on land across any U.S. border will be required to show a passport.
  
After January 31st, travelers will be required to show a birth certificate or proof of citizenship in addition to a drivers license or government issued ID, when crossing the border, and next summer at an undetermined date there will be no way around showing a valid passport and it's keeping Janice Morgan, the Ector County District Cclerk very busy. Her office processes 50 or 60 applications every day.

"What it basically means is that everyone needs their passports," said Morgan, who encourages everyone to apply for their passports before they plan a trip, "You may think you'll never leave the borders of the United States, and then you win a trip to the Caribbean. You're going to need your passport."

Last summer, Janice Morgan says passport changes caused a serious crunch forcing some travelers to wait months for their passports. She says the best way to avoid that with the new change is to plan ahead.

If you need a passport, you can go to the District Clerk's office on the third floor of the Ector County Courthouse. They except applications until 4:15. Everyone who needs a passport must appear.  The Cost is 67 dollars for adults plus a 30 processing fee.