U.S. Passport and Identification Requirements

Things U.S. Travellers Need to Know

Do I need a passport to enter Canada?

As of June 1, 2009, a new American law known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. citizens 16 years of age or over who re-enter the United States by land and sea to have a passport or other appropriate secure document.

Additional types of secure documents

  • Passport Card: The passport card is only valid for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada
  • State issued Enhanced Driver?s License (when available)
  • Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
  • Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
  • U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
  • Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
  • Form I-872 American Indian Card

For complete information on crossing U.S borders visit the Department of Homeland Security.

International visitors to Canada that are not U.S. citizens must carry a valid passport and visa (if required). Citizens from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Mexico, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and others do not require a visa to enter Canada. Visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada online for a complete listing.

What if I am traveling with my children?

When traveling by land or sea:
Children 15 years of age or younger will be required to present only an original or a copy of a birth certificate, or a citizenship card. The same applies to children under the age of 19 who are travelling in groups under adult supervision and when all the children have parental or legal guardian consent to travel.

When traveling by air:
All children, regardless of age (including newborns and infants), must have their own passport to enter the United States by air.

Special note for all travellers with children:
U.S. travellers to Canada that are divorced parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents for children less than 18 years old. Adults who are not parents or guardians must have written permission from the parents or guardians to accompany the children. When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should travel in the same vehicle as the children for border crossing.

For more detailed information about crossing U.S. Borders with children visit http://www.travel.state.gov.

How can I find out more about obtaining a U.S. Passport?

For detailed information about obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services Office at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.asp, or access U.S. passport application services from the United States Postal Service at http://www.usps.com/passport/.