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Old 03-02-2011
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Passport "card" for Bahamas/Bermuda entry

Does anyone here use the passport "card" instead of an old-school passport for cruising off the East coast? It's only good for return entry to the US by land or sea... Seems to be made with recreational sailing in mind.
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Old 03-02-2011
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There are two 'variations', both required for return entry under this Customs & Immigration "Local Boater Option" and DHS "DTOPS" programs.

One is the Local Boater Option that allows return verification to ports "south of" essentially Vero Beach FL. Each person on board must appear before leaving the county at a designated custom office and physically present a valid US passport, etc. That person is issued a numbered permanent card.
When returning you phone into the correct customs office, report the card number, answer a few question including your exact Lat/Lon .... Thats it - hassle free no need to 'trapse off' to a far distant international airport or international port of entry to be interrogated and present your US passport. The return entry or 'clearing-in' is entirely accomplished by telephone. MUST be a US citizen with valid passport to qualify and MUST enter 'specified' ports or areas to use.
more info - CBP Announces Local Boater Option for Florida Boaters - CBP.gov GREAT PROGRAM, especially if you often return to S. Florida, etc.

The second is a REQUIRED special numeric ID for the vessel or aircraft, obtained (online) from the DHS ... "DTOPS program". You receive an adhesive 'sticker' with serial number which must be placed at the usual 'boarding position' of the vessel. more info - https://dtops.cbp.dhs.gov/ This is required for reentry into the US to ANY port (or international airport), & not only those ports that accept the Local Boater program. Each vessel or aircraft MUST have this 'sticker ID' to return & return to the US.

;-)
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Old 03-02-2011
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Interesting. I was referring to this:

U.S. Passport Card
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Old 03-02-2011
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Good info Rich, but I think he's asking about one of these: U.S. Passport Card

EDIT - yup, he was (simultaneous posts)
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Old 03-02-2011
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I often wonder how someone determines whether or not you are entering port from International waters, or just returning from a long weekend cruise down the coast? Lets say that you decided to venture out to the Dry Tortugas from Key West, spend a few days snorkeling, then return to Marathon. In this instance you've never left U.S. waters, but who would be making that determination?

Just curious,

Gary
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Old 03-02-2011
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I think it's just like cruising to Cuba... Maybe you won't have a problem getting back in, but if you do...
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