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Interesting Travel Experience
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 14:48:06 -0700

From: eekid () aol com [eekid () aol com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 5:01 PM
To: David Farber
Subject: Interesting Travel Experience

Prof. Farber,

The week before last, my wife and I traveled to Bermuda via ship.  My wife didn't have a passport so prior to traveling 
we verified that we could travel using birth certificates until 2009.  I have a passport and decided to use it but also 
carry my birth certificate.  When asked for my identification, I presented my passport.  The woman entered my passport 
information and stared at the screen.  Then, she swiped the long edge of the book through a reader.  It seemed to be 
taking an unusually long time.  She then turned to another person and said, "I'm getting a red light on this passport". 
 The other person at the desk, then performed the same actions as she did and commented "Hmmm we're doing everything 
right".  I then spoke up and said, I have my birth certificate and handed it to her.  She looked at the birth 
certificate and allowed me to pass.

This raises a few questions.  Is the new passport system reliable?  What does it say about border security when a birth 
certificate trumps a passport?  Will my passport (the expensive little booklet) allow me to travel in the future?

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