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Need passport to enter Canada?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the dorky thread, but I've read conflicting information on whether or not you need a passport to travel from the U.S. into Canada. I'm going to Whistler in 2 weeks.
post #2 of 27
Canada only requires a US driver's license. The trick is getting back into the US. You should carry some proof of US citizenship (either a birth certificate or a passport) in case they question your citizenship..... a US driver's license isn't recognized as proof by the US government.
post #3 of 27
Until new travel requirements phase in starting Dec. 2006, you should carry two forms of ID. If you have a passport, bring it. If not, a drivers license AND a birth certificate or naturalization certificate. A drivers license alone is NOT enough and you shouldn't count on "it was enough last time" because some border guards are stricter than others, and if you're coming back in right after there has been an "incident" they will all be stricter.

From the horse's mouth:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html

Thatsagirl
post #4 of 27
I'm a US citizen, living in Canada and working in the US. I cross the border about 20 times each month.

Both countries require proof of citizenship, which generally must be either a passport or birth certificate, and a picture ID. US and Canadian citizens do not require visas of any type for either country (for non-working visits).

If a passport is your proof of citizenship, it is sufficient on its own.

If a birth certificate is your proof of citizenship, then you must also have a picture ID. For most people the picture ID is a drivers license, but it could also be another form of ID, such as a student ID card.

The above requirements apply to children as well, of any age.

If your children's last names aren't the same as yours, or if only one parent is travelling with small children, you will need a statement from the other parent that you have permission to take the children out of the country. The border officials are concerned about child kidnappings, or non-custodial (divorced) parents removing children from the country.

Probably more than you wanted to know, but it can be complicated!
post #5 of 27
Just a heads up for some, but I've heard of people being refused entry because of a DUI on their driving record.
post #6 of 27
The DUI usually doesn't stop you from crossing in, but you may have to go into the office to talk to the officials about it. A friend of mine had a DUI when she was 18 and always had trouble crossing in. She always needed a cigerette (and she didn't smoke) to calm her nerves as she headed to the crossing!
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD
Just a heads up for some, but I've heard of people being refused entry because of a DUI on their driving record.
I know someone who has, at the border crossing above Eureka MT on US 93 N.
post #8 of 27
I've heard of people being refused entry due to DUIs. In fact, I know some folks that flew into Kelowna earlier this month, one was refused entry due to a DUI, another wasn't even though he also has a DUI. It's really up to the customs agent at the crossing to make the call, and seem like it can be pretty random.

Save yourself the hassel and get your passport. A drivers license and birth certificate will work, but based on my past experience, it makes it more likely you'll be pulled over. Everything is smoother if everyone has passports. It might just be me, but it sure seems the Canadians are getting a lot stricter. Used to cross into Canada no problems, it was always getting back to the US that issues would arise. Not so the last two years, the Canadians ask a lot more questions then they used to and the only time I've been pulled over has been crossing into Canada.
post #9 of 27
Just to echo what everyone else has said... a DL alone might get you in, but it'll be painful. I did it once about two years ago (forgot my passport) and the customs guy grilled me. He looked at every OTHER piece of ID I had in my wallet, asked me a ton of questions about where I was born, criminal record, who I knew in Canada, yadda yadda. They didn't search my vehicle or anything, though. I'm real careful to not forget my passport now
post #10 of 27
I don't have a passport yet but will need one soon because of the new regulations to go into effect in the next year or two. For now I have had no problems at all using my birth certificate. I must look honest. I go across the border several times per year. Last weekend when I went to Whistler they didn't even try to look at my ID going either direction. DON'T COUNT ON THAT, HOWEVER. Be completely honest and have documents ready. You shouldn't have problems (but don't count on that, either).
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattle_sun
The DUI usually doesn't stop you from crossing in, but you may have to go into the office to talk to the officials about it. A friend of mine had a DUI when she was 18 and always had trouble crossing in. She always needed a cigerette (and she didn't smoke) to calm her nerves as she headed to the crossing!
June last year a few of my buddies were traveling by train. The stopped in Niagara Falls or so and were not allowed to enter Canada. They had to get off the train. Then they grabbed a cab and crossed by car at another location. They all had DWIs but I wouldn't let them in under any circumstance.

They couldn't believe it. These arrests were 15 plus years old.
post #12 of 27
If you are flying, a passport makes things much easier according to my boyfriend who recently flew from Burlington to Vancouver and back. Everyone else above is correct however...bring a picture ID and an official birth certificate (not a copy) if you don't have a passport. We go to Montreal frequently and have passports. I usually have them in my hand as we get to the border and they have always asked to see them.
Re: the DWIs....yes, it's correct. You can and most likely will be refused entry to Canada. There is paperwork you can get filled out though, which includes getting letters of recommendation that you can submit to Canadian officials to be allowed entry, but I believe you cant do this until your conviction is X years old. It's worth checking into.
post #13 of 27
It still baffles my why anyone whould not have a passport, and would not use it at the border every time. It takes about an hour of your time to get one.:
post #14 of 27
90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the US border. Not true for your cousins to the south.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck34
It still baffles my why anyone whould not have a passport, and would not use it at the border every time. It takes about an hour of your time to get one.:
Because some of us don't travel internationally (except to Canada) and if a free birth certificate works, why spend nearly $100 and a bunch of time and effort for something you can have for nothing?
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune
Because some of us don't travel internationally (except to Canada) and if a free birth certificate works, why spend nearly $100 and a bunch of time and effort for something you can have for nothing?
You should try going abroad, there's a lot of the world out there that's worth seeing!
post #17 of 27
I travel frequently to international destinations, so I have a passport with me all the time. Most countries require the expiration of the passport 6 mo. or longer on the day of travel, does it applie here on the US-CAN boarder?

post #18 of 27
Dennis: not a dorky question at all. Many of the replies assume you'll be driving...not sure that's the case, unless I missed something. If you're flying, you should have a passport.

A couple of years ago, when I had to fly to Toronto on business, I assumed that my driver's license was enough. A coworker told me that it wasn't, so I called the airline to double-check (I think it was United.) I was told that I could probably get in to Canada w/o my passport but that I needed one for re-entry into the States. I drove home to get mine before going to the airport, and it did seem as if I did need it--the United ticket counter clerk checked it even before I got on the plane in NY to make sure I had one.

It is kind of a pain to get one, and expensive, but it really is a good thing to have.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
You should try going abroad, there's a lot of the world out there that's worth seeing!
So, are you a rich teacher too?

Some of the posters on this forum should think about what they say to people. It's a very long way from where I live to any other country than Canada. I'm not made of money.

I live in paradise already so I'm not whining. I've never even been to the East coast, and I'm 52. What do I need a passport for? I would rather use my money to ski.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune
I live in paradise already so I'm not whining. I've never even been to the East coast, and I'm 52. What do I need a passport for?

Just to play devil's advocate, if you have never been to other countries, how do you know that you actually live in a paradise? Your only references are propaganda and marketing from the government and big corporations.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by agent.5
how do you know that you actually live in a paradise? Your only references are propaganda and marketing from the government and big corporations.
I live in paradise because I am extremely happy with where I live. I have no clue what government and big corporations have to do with it. I do not have the cash to travel the world. I'm content. Sounds like paradise to me.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune
Because some of us don't travel internationally (except to Canada) and if a free birth certificate works, why spend nearly $100 and a bunch of time and effort for something you can have for nothing?
If it works, then yeah, save the money (although it sounds like this is the last year it's gonna work). Having had a few "experiences" at the border, I just prefer to do anything I possibly can to make sure it's as smooth as possible.
post #23 of 27
Posaune has found his own paradise. how dare ANY of you to criticize his happiness?

now, with that said,

what would benefit Posaune in inspecting the existence of another "paradise" in a land to which he cannot travel?
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickadee
A couple of years ago, when I had to fly to Toronto on business, I assumed that my driver's license was enough. A coworker told me that it wasn't, so I called the airline to double-check (I think it was United.) I was told that I could probably get in to Canada w/o my passport but that I needed one for re-entry into the States.
The state department link I provided above says a passport is not required for flying until Dec. 31, 2006. For driving, Dec. 31, 2007.

I have flown in and out without a passport, but now that I have a passport, I always bring it.

Thatsagirl
post #25 of 27

Carry a passport on domestic flights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune
Because some of us don't travel internationally (except to Canada) and if a free birth certificate works, why spend nearly $100 and a bunch of time and effort for something you can have for nothing?
Birth certificate is NOT picture ID.

What if you lose your wallet in Canada? (Or anywhere else, say Utah).
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
What if you lose your wallet in Canada?
You are up the creek unless you have a passport. A missing passport can be replaced when you're out of the country. Can't replace that drivers license and birth certificate. :

Thatsagirl
post #27 of 27
There was a long story about a rent in my pants and a breathless, anxious, harried afternoon running between the Hydro and Peel retracing steps and again and again, over and underground.

I'll cut it short and tell you that I kicked up the wallet from the snow, just outside the driver's door, in the car park in Longueuil at 10pm.

8cm of fresh.
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