I am a US citizen traveling to Canada from the US on short notice, within the next two weeks (unsure if by land or by air). I do not have a passport. I may or may not be able to obtain a passport expedited at the agency in DC, but even if I am able to, it seems like far more of a hassle than spending an extra few hours at the border on the way back for screening, if this is possible, so my question is: is it? Is it guaranteed that an under-documented US citizen re-entering the US can cross the Canadian border with some large level of delay, and is it legal to leave with the intent to be subject to screening on my return?
(I have a birth certificate and am in the process of obtaining a photo ID to cross to Canada, but I do not have any WHTI-compliant travel documents. An extended driver’s license is not an option, as the state of North Carolina does not seem to issue them, and I am under the age of 18 anyhow.)