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  • Andy Adams

Do We Now Need Letters of Transit?

In the classic movie Casablanca, the "letters of transit" are the critical plot device ("macguffin" for movie nerds) that drives the narrative. Everyone is after them. Rick (Humphery Bogart) has them. The key question is whether he will use them for his own selfish (albeit romantic) purposes or for a more noble selfless use.

Who knew "letters of transit" would become important in Harris County? We are not sure that they are. So far, we can find no authority that requires them or something like them to be carried by employees of businesses considered "essential" under the terms of the Stay Home Stay Safe Order issued by Harris County and the City of Houston (as well as other municipal areas in Texas) this week.

One thing we are sure about is that employees are asking for them and if it gives them a comfort level driving to and from workplaces and jobsites during this Stay Home Stay Safe Order, that is a good thing.

There are several examples of letters produced by attorneys and associations floating around and you probably have one in your inbox. All of these do the job just fine.

  • Use your company letterhead

  • Indicate that your company is a business included within the definition of essential businesses described by the stay at home order.

  • Offer a phone number that will allow immediate verification (make sure someone is answering that phone) in the mostly unlikely (at this point) event you have an employee stopped and questioned by law enforcement.

In the alternative (and as an attempt to lighten the mood), we would be glad to offer our own letter of transit option. It's a bit formal:

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