Starting Monday, Canadians will need passports, or other specialized I.D., to enter the United States by land, sea or air.

Previously, such documents were only required for U.S. air travel.

The tighter border rules are part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).

Under the WHTI, all Canadians aged 16 and up who don't have passports will need to show an enhanced driver's licence (EDL), or another WHTI-compliant document to travel to the U.S.

Canadian travellers aged 15 and under may enter the U.S. by showing proof of Canadian citizenship, by using a birth certificate or citizenship card.

New technology

As part of the WHTI, travellers will now be asked to hold their required documents up to a special scanner called a radio frequency identifier before they reach the border agents.

The scanner will be able to read a chip off of the I.D., and send the information to the officials while travellers wait their turn to cross the border.

Border officials say the new technology will save time and reduce lineups.

Grace period

There will be ad campaigns on both sides of the border to raise awareness about the new rules.

There will also be a summer-long grace period.

With files from News Staff