Changes to current U.S. travel requirements begin today, and we wanted to make sure our readers are informed.

Currently all individuals traveling by air outside the U.S. are required to present a passport or approved travel document to enter/re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Beginning today, the requirement will be extended to those also traveling by land and sea.

The new requirement is part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which is overseen by the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security. The government is encouraging people traveling between these regions to review the policies.

The new requirements may also mean a rush to obtain passports. If you need a new passport, or to renew one, you should act soon to avoid long waits.