June 27, 2007 1:30 PM, EDT

DHS May Consider Secure Licenses for Border Crossings

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said DHS will consider allowing use of secure driver’s licenses as a means of identification at the U.S. border, the Associated Press reported.

Chertoff, who visited the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, N.Y. that runs to Canada, met New York state officials concerned about the effect of a new passport requirement on border crossing starting next summer.

He said he would consider possibly delaying it if New York and other states commit to quickly developing a secure license, AP reported.

Earlier this month, Chertoff faulted those who wanted to derail the rule requiring U.S. citizens to carry passports when returning from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, saying national security was at stake.

But New York officials are worried about border delays and the effect on travelers and business, AP said.

The Peace Bridge, which runs between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario, is the third busiest commercial crossing and second busiest passenger vehicle crossing along the northern border, handling $20 billion in trade annually between the United States and Canada.