Thursday, December 02, 2004


It would be a bit more helpful if the people involved in these things were a bit better about communicating correct instructions to travelers. Mrs. Atrios and I have traveled in and out of the country many times since we've been married, and each time we've obeyed the instructions as printed on the customs form which informs us that families only need to fill out one form.

So, this time when we went through the agent asked us if we were married. We said yes, and the guy said something along the lines of "oh, so you just haven't gotten around to doing the name change yet" (we have different last names). I replied that we weren't planning on doing that, and he informed us that married couples with different names need to fill out separate forms, being a bit of a jerk about it.

In the grand pantheon of airport hassles this was no big deal, and I'm not claiming it is. But, hunting around the customs site I still can't find any information about this law. It probably is the law, but I'd be happy if their website (and the forms they hand out) reflected it instead of saying this:

Each individual arriving into the United States must complete the CBP Declaration Form 6059B. If you are traveling with other immediate family members, complete one form per family unit.

And, you know, since the instructions don't make it sound as if this is optional (it says "complete one form," not "you may complete only one form...")...