by Anne Sutherland,
Montreal Gazette

Thursday's the day the rules change for entering the United States by land or sea.

If you take a bus, ride the train, drive your car or hop on a boat, you must have the correct papers or you could be refused entry at the border.

It will be mandatory to have two government-issued documents - one with a photo - or a passport to cross the border from Canada.

A medicare card or driver's licence, plus a citizenship card/birth certificate will be required if you don't have a passport.

Otherwise, no dice unless you're a child.

An exception will be made for children under 16, who will only require a birth certificate.

The news rule also affects entry to the United states by boat or ship.

In April 2005, the American State Department and the Department of Homeland Security announced a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative to further tighten security.

The first implementation of the new travel initiative kicked in Jan. 23, 2007, when passports were mandatory for air travel to the United States.

For more information, go to, and under features click on "Travelling to the U.S.''