I'm going to be traveling from the U.S. to Canada by myself (age 16) without any adults. I'm planning on taking a bus, and I was wondering what all I'll need. I've looked up online plenty, and the requirements are different per-site which isn't helpful. I'm currently not emancipated, and I do not have a passport.

  • 4
    Step 1 - Get a passport. – user13044 Nov 11 '15 at 11:12
  • What's your citizenship? – CMaster Nov 11 '15 at 11:18
  • @CMaster U.S. citizenship – Jake Cross Nov 11 '15 at 11:21
  • @Tom If that's the only way I shall – Jake Cross Nov 11 '15 at 11:21
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    Passports are required to re-enter the USA and also required for minors to enter Canada - cic.gc.ca/english/visit/minors.asp – user13044 Nov 11 '15 at 11:42

Canada will admit US citizens with any proof of citizenship, such as a US birth certificate, along with photo ID. The two can be the same document, if course, if you are using, for example, a passport. Source: http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html#_s2a

The US, on the other hand, requires more secure documentation. These requirements are codified as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). The WHTI has less stringent requirements for those under 16, which doesn't help you.

You should therefore most likely get a US passport or passport card. The latter makes sense mostly if you are planning not to travel to other countries in the next ten years, or if you plan to travel by land or sea, relatively frequently, to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean.

If you live in one of the states that offer them, you also have the option of getting an enhanced driver's license or state DMV non-driver identification card.

Finally, you should also ask the bus company about their requirements, since these could be more restrictive.

  • Your link starts by saying adults and chikdren traveling with. My link in the comments specifically covers the OPs situation, that of a minor traveling by themselves. – user13044 Nov 11 '15 at 15:04
  • @Tom your link starts by saying that a minor must follow the rules for any other visitor . For a US citizen minor, then, a case not otherwise explicitly covered on that page, a passport is not required. – phoog Nov 11 '15 at 15:07
  • So I could get there, but I'd be stuck lol. I'll probably talk with my parents and see if I can go there with my certificate/ID (If it meets the busing standards) and get a passport mailed over (since processing takes time) – Jake Cross Nov 11 '15 at 17:53
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    @Jake you won't be stuck. The US can't deny entrance to its own citizens. You might be a pain in the ass. If you got into Canada with proof of citizenship, you'll eventually get back into the US. I don't recommend it though. – Azor Ahai Nov 11 '15 at 20:19
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    @Tom in a forum full of geeks who delight in exploring every possible exception, qualification, and refinement of every rule, what do you expect? The fact is that Canada recommends and does not require US citizens to have passports or WHTI-compliant documents to enter. Of course, real-world situations where that fact is useful will be few and far between, given that the US does ostensibly require WHTI-compliant documents for US citizens to get back in. That doesn't stop discussion of such situations, especially when the question is about what is "needed," not "recommended." – phoog Nov 13 '15 at 6:13

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