Beginning today, American citizens entering the U.S. by land or sea are required to present a valid U.S. passport or similar proof of both identity and citizenship. The new rule applies to persons age 19 or older seeking entry into the U.S. at the borders. Identification documents must include a photo, name and date of birth. (See Document Options, from the Department of Homeland Security). Children ages 18 and under will only be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Before the new border identification requirements took effect today, upon entering the U.S. at a border entry point, an individual without documentation could verbally claim to be a U. S. citizen. The Associated Press reports that "officers at the ports will have latitude to admit people who are unaware of the changes once their identities are confirmed."