At this point, no. I went across about a month ago and forgot mine, no problem. Although in today's termoil, I always carry mine down there. All it takes is for some scare to happen and you might be stuck.
Funny, not so funny story: Had a friend take a Canadian citizen down there for lobster and drinks about 10 years ago. Got to the border and they asked citizenship, "US, Canada." They would not allow the Canadian to come back through. The US citizen had to drive back to OC to get their passport. For me, that's wayyyyyyy to much time in TJ.
>They are also talking about a modified ID card as an option to
>a passport but it wont be good worldwide, expires quicker and
>actually ends up being more expensive per-year than a
The modified ID is probably a Sentri Pass. I have one and you can only use it for crossing the border in the Sentri lane. It has your photo and your passport number on it. Cost for 2 people is $189.00 for 2 years and includes a transponder (currently like a fastrak) that has all your information imbebbed in it. Takes 9 months and a couple of trips to Otay Mesa to get. The best thing is crossing the border in a couple of minutes. Bad thing is you can't tow a boat through it, and you can't bring back any extra fuel.
As for a passport, you don't need one as long. Just a drivers license.
Actually the ID they issue for the Sentri doesn't say Sentri, Just that it's a PortPass. It is issued by the DHS, has their seal but it states on the front that it is not valid as a passport or visa. Please don't tell me they are going to require another process to the system. I don't think I could stand anymore trips to the Customs office.