We are planning a road trip from USA, through British Colombia to Alaska and back within a week or so. One of my children have an expired US passport.

Both parents are with the child and we are all US citizens. I found in few blogs online saying that we will be able to cross by car with a valid birth certificate.

I looked trough this page but could not figure out if crossing is possible or not. Any advice or reliable source for that information?


Just for completion, the trip went well and we managed to cross into Canada twice. The border passing without a passport was no issue. It seems like if you have the expired passport, both parents and birth certificate they don't really mind

  • 1
    My wife and I entered New York from Ontario with our two toddlers and no documentation. We were held for about three hours while they tried to decide whether they were really our children. The child's passport should alleviate that considerably, but there might be a little bit of questioning.
    – WGroleau
    Jul 23, 2022 at 23:37

1 Answer 1


Citizens of the United States only require a government identification and a proof of citizenship (or a document that is both, e.g. a passport, passport card, enhanced driving licence, or NEXUS card) to enter Canada.

Technically there is no requirement for photo identification, but the officers can refuse entry if there is doubt to if a non-photo ID in fact belongs to you. For minors travelling with their parents (who have photo IDs) and the parental relationship can be established (same last names or information on birth certificate), photo IDs are in practice not necessary (but may still be helpful, even if expired).

Note that for air travel, the airlines are required to demand a passport or NEXUS card.

This used to be explicit on the government website but nowadays the information can only be inferred (probably because the Canadian government would prefer you to have a proper travel document such as passport).

The requirement for a valid passport or travel document is provided by section 52 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. Subsection 52(2) contains exemptions to such requirement, including for citizens of the United States

52 (1) In addition to the other requirements of these Regulations, a foreign national seeking to become a temporary resident must hold one of the following documents that is valid for the period authorized for their stay: (a) a passport [...]

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to (a) citizens of the United States; [...]

The exceptions are also discussed in the IRCC/CBSA operational manual ENF 4: Port of entry examinations (section 13.16).

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