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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: December 2, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 232)]
[Notices]               
[Page 73343]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr02de08-92]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

 
Designation of an Enhanced Driver's License and Identity Document 
Issued by the State of New York as a Travel Document Under the Western 
Hemisphere Travel Initiative

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security 
has designated enhanced driver's licenses and identity documents (EDLs) 
issued by the State of New York (New York) as acceptable documents to 
denote identity and citizenship for purposes of entering the United 
States at land and sea ports of entry upon implementation of Section 
7209 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. 
U.S. citizens possessing these EDLs will be permitted to present the 
EDLs as acceptable documents under Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative 
(WHTI) when entering the United States at land and sea ports of entry.

DATES: This designation is effective December 2, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Manaher, Western Hemisphere 
Travel Initiative, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20229, 202-344-1220.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

    The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 
(IRTPA), as amended, provides that upon full implementation, U.S. 
citizens and Bermudian, Canadian and Mexican nationals will be required 
to present a passport or such alternative documents as the Secretary of 
Homeland Security (Secretary) designates as satisfactorily establishing 
identity and citizenship when entering the United States. On April 3, 
2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State 
(DOS) promulgated a joint final rule implementing the Western 
Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) at U.S. land and sea ports of 
entry. See 73 FR 18384 (the land-sea final rule). That final rule 
specifies the documents that U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens from 
Canada, Bermuda, and Mexico will be required to present when entering 
the United States at land and sea ports-of-entry from within the 
Western Hemisphere.
    Under the land-sea final rule, one type of citizenship and identity 
document that U.S. citizens may present upon entry to the United States 
is an enhanced driver's license or identification document (EDL) 
designated by the Secretary pursuant to section 7209 of IRTPA, as 
amended. See 8 U.S.C. 1185 note. Section 235.1(d) of Title 8 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations authorizes the Secretary to designate an 
EDL as acceptable:

    Upon the designation by the Secretary of Homeland Security of an 
enhanced driver's license as an acceptable document to denote 
identity and citizenship for purposes of entering the United States, 
U.S. citizens and Canadians may be permitted to present these 
documents in lieu of a passport upon entering or seeking admission 
to the United States according to the terms of the agreements 
entered between the Secretary of Homeland Security and the entity. 
The Secretary of Homeland Security will announce, by publication of 
a notice in the Federal Register, documents designated under this 
paragraph. A list of designated documents will also be made 
available to the public.

EDL Programs

    DHS is committed to working with the various States of the Union 
and the Government of Canada to facilitate the development of State and 
province-issued EDLs as travel documents that denote identity and 
citizenship as required under section 7209 of IRTPA, as amended. To 
establish an EDL program, each State must enter into agreement with DHS 
to develop an acceptable EDL document. Each EDL program is specific to 
each State based on factors such as the State's funding, technology, 
and other developments and implementation factors. DHS announces 
acceptable State and provincial EDL documents that denote identity and 
citizenship on an ongoing basis by publication in the Federal Register 
. 

New York EDLs

    New York has established a voluntary program to develop an enhanced 
driver's license and identification card that would denote identity and 
citizenship. On October 27, 2007, the Secretary of Homeland Security 
and the Governor of New York signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to 
develop, issue, test, and evaluate an enhanced driver's license and 
identification card with facilitative technology to be used for border 
crossing purposes. Under the terms of the agreement between DHS and the 
State of New York, New York will only issue EDLs to U.S. citizens. EDLs 
also may be issued as photo identification cards to non-drivers.
    The Secretary has determined that EDLs issued by the State of New 
York satisfy the requirements of section 7209 of the IRTPA. The New 
York EDLs have compatible facilitative technology to meet CBP's 
operational needs. These documents contain vicinity radio frequency 
identification chips and machine readable zones that will facilitate 
processing for the holder. The EDLs also include physical security 
features that guard against tampering. New York has already begun 
issuing EDLs under the MOA.
    This notice announces that the Secretary designates the EDL issued 
by the State of New York, pursuant to the terms of the MOA executed 
between DHS and the State of New York, as an acceptable document to 
denote identity and citizenship for purposes of entering the United 
States at land and sea ports of entry under DHS WHTI requirements. 
Therefore, pursuant to 8 CFR 235.1(d), U.S. citizen holders of New York 
EDLs may present these EDLs as an alternative to a passport upon 
entering the United States at all land and sea ports of entry when 
coming from contiguous territory and adjacent islands from within the 
Western Hemisphere.

Paul A. Schneider,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. E8-28535 Filed 12-1-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-14-P




						



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