We have been asked many times if it is really true that American
Citizens need a passport when driving to Canada.
Everyone seems to know that it is always required when flying,
but many are under the impression that a drivers licence or birth
certificate is sufficient when crossing the border in an automobile.
This is not quite true anymore!
the latter may be sufficient to get INTO CANADA, it may NOT be
sufficient to get back into the USA.
US Government requires an up-to-date
passport or an enhanced dirvers license,
but there are some alternatives for land travel.
Government Customs & Border Protection website says:
Citizens Returning from Canada and Mexico
Traveling in the Western Hemisphere (Canada, Mexico, Caribbean,
Central and South America):
All U.S. citizens departing from or entering the United States
from within the Western Hemisphere by air are required to present
a valid passport or NEXUS card (if utilizing a NEXUS kiosk when
departing from a designated Canadian airport). Merchant Mariner
Document (for U.S. citizens on official maritime business.) Note
that children are also required to present their own passport
when traveling by air.
Land or Sea Travel:
U.S. citizens entering the United States by land or sea are required
to present a valid WHTI-compliant document, which include:
U.S. Passport Cards
Enhanced Driver's Licenses
Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
Military Identification Cards (for members of the U.S. armed forces
on official orders)
U.S. Merchant Mariner Document (for U.S. citizens on official
Passports and Visas:
More info here: