One of the big US news items today was the postponement from enforcing some relatively new passport regulations. Basically, a recent change was made such that if you are traveling from anywhere outside the US by air, a driver’s license is no longer be acceptable for re-entry. You need to have a passport. This has caused an enormous surge in applications and subsequent delays in issuing passports, which lead to a lot of complaining to Congress. The AP news release quoted a great comment:
“To say people must have a passport to travel and not give people a passport is right up there in the stupid column,” said Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., who urged the State Department to lift the rule last month.
Personally, I like the idea of a stupid column, but I digress. While it was reasonably well publicized that this change was coming, most people procrastinate, so it’s pretty obvious to expect a surge in applications. The State Department should have been better prepared. Thankfully our passports are up to date and won’t need renewal for several years. We can only hope that this will have been cleared up by then.
Edited (by Leandra) to add: Mine is actually up for renewal soon, in 2009. I certainly hope this isn’t still going on two years from now.