If you’ve got the winter blues and are thinking about heading to the United States for some sunshine, make sure you have the right identification with you, or you’ll be staying here in the chilly north!
A U.S. law called the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires all Canadians travelling by land or sea to present one of the following before being able to enter the U.S.:
- a valid Canadian passport; OR
- a NEXUS or FAST card (what are these? click to learn more - NEXUS or FAST); OR
- an enhanced driver's licence or ID card. An enhanced driver's licence or ID card is currently available in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, but is not available in Nova Scotia; OR
- a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (contact Canada Border Services or Canadian Aboriginal Affairs for more information).
There are some exceptions to the rules for children travelling by land or sea. Proof of Canadian citizenship, such as a birth certificate or citizenship card, is accepted for children under 16, and for children under 18 who are on a school or other organized group trip for youth, under adult supervision and with parental consent.
These rules are different from those for going to the U.S. by air. Canadians flying to the U.S. must have a valid Canadian passport or NEXUS card, regardless of age.
You can get more information about documents Canadians require for travel to the United States from Canada Border Services, or Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, or visit getyouhome.gov