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I'm a US citizen planning a trip to Montreal in about 15 days. I don't have a passport. However, I do have my birth certificate and valid ID. Will this be enough to enter Canada and reenter the US? Has anyone done this yet?

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    Is your ID an Enhanced Driver's License? – choster Feb 2 '18 at 5:38
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    Are you traveling by air? – Jacob Horbulyk Feb 2 '18 at 6:30
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CBSA states that a U.S. Passport, NEXUS or FAST card, U.S. Passport Card or Enhanced driver's license is required to enter the country. To reenter the USA you will definitely need a Passport Book or Card unless you plan on staying north of the border.

Border crossings can be difficult without the correct identification. You most likely will be denied access to Canada without one of the items listed above. It is up to the discretion of the border agent.

I recommend obtaining the passport card ASAP and pay the expedited fee if your travel plans can't be changed.

Also check CBSA official site for the latest updates. May be easier to get into Canada than it is to get back home. Passport is your safest option.

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html

  • A US citizen cannot be denied entry to the US, regardless of what ID he carries. He may delayed a considerable time though, while the border guards establish that he is a citizen. Far easier to carry the proper documents. – user67901 Feb 2 '18 at 6:46
  • Correct, I should have been clearer with the denial portion as I was referring to the Canadian border agent and the necessary items needed for them. – Carl L Feb 2 '18 at 7:00
  • "CBSA states that a U.S. Passport, NEXUS or FAST card, U.S. Passport Card or Enhanced driver's license is required to enter the country." Where does it say that one of these items is required? AFAIK, Canada requires evidence of US citizenship, a birth certificate showing birth in the US is evidence of US citizenship. – user102008 Feb 2 '18 at 16:07
  • Here is the exact CBSA page for reference. cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html#_s2a OP post question in regards to entry into Canada and reentry to USA. Those documents will cover that easily for them. – Carl L Feb 3 '18 at 8:50
  • @CarlL: It does not say that one of those documents is required. – user102008 Feb 5 '18 at 3:51
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Actually, the birth certificate seems to be enough.

CBSA Source

First entry, Have proper identification

Identification requirements for U. S. citizens and permanent residents

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification. If you are a U.S. permanent resident, ensure you carry proof of your status such as a U.S. Permanent Resident Card.

Looks like travelling to Canada don't require a passport. For return to the U.S., you'll have to check the Customs and Border Protection website. Make sure the return requirements are met because they're not the same.

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    I can't imagine you will have any problems returning with the same documents One of the problems often encountered by US citizens who travel to Canada by land is that they fail to understand that entry document requirements are more rigorous for reentry to the US than entry to Canada. – Jacob Horbulyk Feb 3 '18 at 6:42
  • I'll fix that part then – Nelson Feb 3 '18 at 6:43
  • @JacobHorbulyk: "One of the problems often encountered by US citizens who travel to Canada by land is that they fail to understand that entry document requirements are more rigorous for reentry to the US than entry to Canada." The requirements are formally more rigorous, but what the requirements formally say doesn't really matter for a US citizen entering by land because a US citizen can never be denied entry to the US. All they need to do is to establish US citizenship. – user102008 Jun 9 '18 at 21:00

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