Can I use my Nexus card to enter the U.S. from Canada while my U.S. passport is not in my possession because it's being renewed?

  • Yes you can so much so that you are very likely not to even talk to a human. Entering Canada: Use the designated NEXUS lane and stop and hold your membership card in front of the proximity card reader. Proceed to the inspection booth for a visual inspection. The border officer will indicate whether you are to enter the inspection area or proceed into Canada.
    – user4188
    Jan 21, 2017 at 20:11
  • Are you entering by land or by air? Jan 21, 2017 at 20:11
  • 2
    Double check about how long you have to update your Nexus info after your passport changes (such as getting a new number or expiry date.) It might not be ok to use Nexus-with-old-passport-details at a time while new-passport is in the mail to you and valid. But if you send off your old passport and travel the next day, that's not an issue. Jan 21, 2017 at 20:19

3 Answers 3


Yes, you can, according to the Customs and Border Patrol information on what documents are needed for US citizens to enter the US:

Land or Sea Travel: U.S. citizens entering the United States by land or sea are required to present a valid WHTI-compliant document, which include:

  • U.S. Passports
  • U.S. Passport Cards
  • Enhanced Driver's Licenses
  • Trusted Traveler Cards (Global Entry*, NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
  • Military Identification Cards (for members of the U.S. armed forces on official orders)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Document (for U.S. citizens on official maritime business)
  • The link to CBP is no longer valid, please update it. Jan 19, 2023 at 6:31

A Nexus membership REQUIRES you to input your passport details, and keep them up to date. During your membership sign up and potential in-person interviews, you were told to be aware of a list of things, this was one of them. One of the other key items on the list was, by having a Nexus card you will not be excluded/immune from undergoing a Customs/Immigration (secondary) examination.

Travelling with a Nexus card while having expired identification tied to it could result in a number of things, such as a secondary inspection. It's important to remember however, it's a computerized system not requiring humans to update it so:

Your card will be flagged for having expired identification.

This has been a frequent question used for the in-person examinations to see if people have been listening/paying attention. It is quite clear from the answers/comments that people are not active Nexus members, nor have they done their research.

From the CBSA website:

Keep your personal information current, such as address and immigration status;

When you travel using your NEXUS membership card, you must possess appropriate immigration documents (e.g. a work permit or a visa). Your authorized period of admission to Canada or the U.S. depends on your valid immigration status for each country or your citizenship of that country.

Web Links:






  • The OP may be renewing his passport while it still hasn't completely expired…
    – Ángel
    Jan 22, 2017 at 3:26
  • Thank you Angel and dark_st3alth. I am a dual U.S. and Canadian citizen, travelling by land. I am sending my U.S. passport in for renewal 6 months before it expires. What I need to know is whether I can use my Nexus card in lieu of my U.S. passport to enter the U.S. until I receive the new passport with its new number, at which time, of course I will link the new number to my Nexus card.
    – LauraB.
    Jan 22, 2017 at 4:14
  • 2
    @LauraB, I have flown to the US with just the NEXUS card when my passport was in for a visa and that went fine. The only thing that bothers me about the passport renewal is that at some point that will invalidate your current passport and I don't know if they'll care about that or not.
    – user38879
    Jan 22, 2017 at 4:41
  • 1
    Yes, Dennis. That is what I'm worried about. Thanks.
    – LauraB.
    Jan 22, 2017 at 17:10
  • 1
    "A Nexus membership REQUIRES you to input your passport details, and keep them up to date" RUBBISH, you don't even Need a passport to be a NEXUS member, although if you do apply on the basis of a passport, the details should indeed be updated continously
    – Crazydre
    Apr 7, 2018 at 20:24

Yes, if entering by land, or by air from an airport with US Customs pre-clearance in Canada, your NEXUS card is sufficient. A NEXUS card cannot be used to clear Customs at USA airports; the physical passport is required if traveling from a Canadian airport without preclearance.

Sources: CBP and Timatic

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