Can I enter Canada by car (my own vehicle) with a 2-month expired passport? Also, am I able to re-enter the US with the same expired passport. I am a US citizen.

  • I crossed into Canada no problem. Came back into the U.S. and he barely looked at my passport. – Doug Jul 6 '19 at 19:53
  • Please elaborate a bit more. Perhaps you can substantiate if this is normal policy or whether it was an error? – JJJ Jul 6 '19 at 20:58

In October, 2018, as we approached the border of Quebec, I suddenly realized my husband's passport had expired a year before. We went to the US Custom's office at the Maine border and they told him as long as he was born in the USA, he could travel into Canada on an expired passport, and return to the US. They didn't even look at his passport. On the Canadian side, they noticed the passport was expired, but let us through without additional questions. Upon returning to the US through Detroit, the border official didn't say a word about the expired passport and we breezed on through. Although I would certainly recommend renewing an expired passport before traveling, it appears that, officially, it is okay to travel to Canada by car on an expired passport.


No, you should not be allowed into Canada with only an expired Passport as it is not a valid ID.

If you enter Canada using Proof of Citizenship, you should expect trouble returning to the US with only an expired Passport as the Canadian and US border requirements are different, even for US Citizens.

It might be slightly easier than if you had no ID at all but as you don't meet the entry requirements, CBP can process your entry at whatever pace and using whatever methods they see fit.

See: Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

You can re-enter the US from Canada by land using any of these documents:

  • U.S. Passport; Passport Card; Enhanced Driver’s License; Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST); U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders; U.S. Merchant Mariner document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business; or Form I-872 American Indian Card, or (when available) Enhanced Tribal Card.

Can you? ... maybe. It's up to the discretion of the border officer whom you receive in the luck of the draw. If convinced that the document fairly identifies you, the officer has the discretion to accept it. In practice, there is a strong chance that you will be refused admission.

As for returning to the U.S., as a citizen you have a right of entry, but the border officer has to be satisfied of this fact, so there is an elevated chance of delay while the validity of the information in your passport is sorted out. (Remember that expired passports have an elevated chance of lacking modern technology, so are more easily forged.)

If you lack one of the alternate acceptable methods (trusted traveler card, enhanced driver's license, passport card, etc.), then it would be a very wise idea to renew your passport, unless you live close enough to the border that you can afford to take the risk of being refused, and don't mind the extra delays that this could cause.


We just crossed into Canada and back by car in the Thousand Islands region with two expired passports (July 2019). We had 6 travelers total, all US citizens. Both the Canadian and US border patrol mentioned that they should be renewed (they had expired 9 months ago), but they both said it wasn't a problem. We only noticed that they were expired the night before, and I was anxious after reading several of these boards, but when we crossed into Canadian and he mentioned that the passports were expired, I asked if it would be an issue returning, and he laughed and said no.


You can take your Birth Certificate as a proof of document if crossing adjacent border to Canada or Mexico as long as you have proof of citizenship you will be granted admission.

  • 1
    I believe you need both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A driver's license would serve as proof of identity, for example. A birth certificate without any photo ID will not suffice: how do they know it's the traveler's birth certificate? – phoog Oct 23 '19 at 15:21

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