I am a US citizen and on my way to Canada this weekend, by car. Do I need a passport to get back into USA or will my birth certificate and drivers license do the trick? Virginia


A US citizen cannot be refused entry to the US. Technically, however, you need a passport, passport card, enhanced driving licence or Trusted Traveller Program card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST).

If you have an enhanced licence, you fulfil the requirements (birth certificate not required). If it's a regular licence, however, they'll confirm your US citizenship (your birth certificate will help) and you'll be told to bring a WHTI-compliant document next time

  • "they'll confirm your citizenship": and if they can't or won't, welcome to hell. This happens occasionally on the southern border. – phoog Aug 28 '17 at 21:46
  • @phoog "or won't". Isn't that misconduct on their part? Surely asking to speak to the supervisor ought to help in that situation? – Crazydre Aug 29 '17 at 8:05
  • Yes, I suppose it's misconduct, and yes speaking to a supervisor might help, but then again the supervisor might be more prejudiced against whatever group you belong to than is the officer. US citizens who have been removed to Mexico surely crossed the desk of a supervisor before CBP rejected their claim of US citizenship. – phoog Aug 29 '17 at 13:25
  • @phoog Do you know at what specific crossings this happened? – Crazydre Aug 30 '17 at 17:39
  • No, but I learned about these things on the internet. Search for US citizen deported and the like. Court filings and opinions include a brief narrative of the facts, including instances of being denied entry, which will generally mention the port of entry at which the denial took place. I'm traveling at the moment, so I don't have time to look it up myself. – phoog Aug 30 '17 at 19:19

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