On Friday, the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security temporarily eased passport requirements for air travel to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean due to a major backlog in processing passports.
Through September 30, adults will be permitted to fly with government-issued photo ID and official Department of State proof of application for a passport. Children under age 16 traveling with their parents or legal guardian need only the proof of application. According to the State Department, travelers with only photo ID "should not expect to be accommodated."
Travelers can obtain official proof of application and more information on the relaxed rules by visiting the Department of State's travel website. The site also has a section dedicated to the status of delayed passport applications.
While this is good news for travelers visiting the affected countries, it's no help for those people with delayed applications visiting Europe, Asia, or elsewhere in the world. If you are one of those people anxiously waiting for a passport for an imminent trip, contact your congressperson for help in expediting the process.