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Need passport to enter Canada from USA?

Travel Forums North America Need passport to enter Canada from USA?

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1. Posted by davedave (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y

Simple question...do I need a passport to enter Canada from the USA as a US citizen? If not, what type of identification is generally required and is it a hassle? This is for air travel...tell me about your experiences.

2. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 11y

No, you don't need a passport--a drivers' license will do.

I suggest taking your passport if you have one, though--since the border patrol/customs service is tracking everyone by the number of times they go over and back. Having your passport assures them this is your first trip in awhile--meaning you probably aren't running drugs or acting as a terrorist checking out places to blow up.

Enjoy.

3. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

To be clear, a photo id and proof of citizenship is required to cross into Canada from the USA if you are a US citizen. That means both a driver's license and a birth certificate or other federally issued proof.

I have crossed back and forth many times by air with just a driver's license and birth certificate with no problems.

Greg

4. Posted by Parasol (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

I've done this trip many times. For me, as a Canadian, it's always much more difficult crossing the border into the US. I used to get hassled so terribly. Once they even read a personal letter I had in there from an American friend. I have been held for questioning for up to 2 hours at the border before. I'm a 20-something white female. When I travel to the US now by car, I always bring:

1. My Passport
2. My last pay stub (to prove I have a job)
3. A copy of my lease (to prove I have a home in Canada)
4. Driver's License
5. My dogs vet records (if she's with me)

It's good to have all these things though I'm not sure how necessary it is if you're coming TO Canada. Also, make sure you have receipts of all the things you're leaving in Canada.

And lastly, enjoy your trip!

5. Posted by barby (Full Member 52 posts) 11y

Wow, that sounds like more trouble than I'm used to! Rough!

I've been made fun of a few times by the border people because my only reason for going to the states has been to get krispy kremes. And they checked my trunk... I'm sure a couple of 19 year old un-white girls from one of the pot capitals in north america going to a different country for doughnuts at 11pm on a weeknight sounds suspicious, so I didn't think much of it. (We weren't up to anything... I promise!)But I didn't even have to pull over for that.

Even then, though, all I've needed is a birth certificate and drivers license. A passport works too though, and it doesn't hurt to bring it along. But since Parasol had such a different experience from the ones I've had, it must change from crossing to crossing, depending where you are. I don't suspect you'll need any more than your passport- at most.

6. Posted by inkujan (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

Bring your passport, the Canadian side of the border isn't as strict as the American side but bring other ID incase but otherwise you should be fine. Unless you have a criminal record.

7. Posted by inkujan (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

oh yeah.. and have fun in Canada!

8. Posted by chewin (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y

My fiance and I lives in the U.S and we want to go to Canada to visit. He's a U.S citizen and I'm not. I'm a legal US immigrant, I have a SS card, Green card, Driver's license. I have everything except a passport and being a US citizenship. Can I still go or I need a passport or a travel visa???

9. Posted by Lugor79 (Full Member 70 posts) 10y

Chewin, this brings up two issues.

1) How are you in the US without a valid passport? Do you even have an expired passport? In my experience you can get into Canada with an expired passport and your green card.

2) Getting back into the US all you need is that green card. However the rules changes in December 31st 2006, you must have a valid passport to get back into the US from Mexico, Canada and the Carribeans State Department

jz

10. Posted by Stratego (Budding Member 14 posts) 10y

Not required to enter Canada, but I would suggest bringing one so that getting back into your own country is easier.