Effective June 1, 2009, proper identification as defined in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) takes effect for international travel and, specifically, for re-entry into the US from a foreign country.
A passport is required for any international air travel. The fee for a US passport for an adult is $100 and it is valid for up to 10 years. For travel by land or sea only to Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas or the Caribbean Islands — an American citizen can obtain a passport card rather than a passport book. The fee for an adult passport card is $45 and it is good for up to 10 years. Click here to see the Passport Card.
New York State residents can obtain a New York State Enhanced Drivers License (EDL) to use for land and sea travel in lieu of a passport card. The fee for an EDL is $30 in addition to the fee for your NY drivers license and can be obtained through the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is valid for up to 8 years. Your license does not have to be about to expire in order to apply for an EDL. You have the option of early license renewal. Click here to see a Travel Document Comparison. For additional information, see NYS Dept of Motor Vehicles - Enhanced Driver License.
The WHTI-compliant documents described above are acceptable for entry or re-entry into the United States. You may be required to present additional or different travel documents when entering foreign countries, including countries in the Western Hemisphere. Before you travel, make sure you know the entry requirements of the country you plan to visit. See Country Specific Information for more information on the country you are traveling to. The EDL and the passport card are not valid for international air travel.
For additional information regarding international travel, refer to Travel.State.Gov.