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Return to U.S. with Minor Child, No Passport

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My husband and I MAY have to travel within the next week to Calgary (from the U.S.) and we MAY have to bring our minor child (under 10 years old) with us. Both of our passports are current but, unfortunately, our child's passport is expired. We do not live in close range of a regional passport office and we may not know for a few more days whether or not we will need to go. We are aware of expedited services, however many of them are very costly for such short notice. Besides that, they usually require a booked ticket which is not a chance I'm willing to take considering the passport may not be granted. It would certainly compound the money lost.

I realize that if we were to fly, passports are absolutely required to return to the U.S. However, if we drive, would we be able to return to the U.S. without it? Would a state issued ID card along with a birth certificate suffice for a minor child under 10? Not sure if it makes any difference, but we would cross over between Montana and Alberta (not sure at this point of the highway that heads up to Calgary). If we have to do the trip without our child we certainly can, but would prefer their attendance. Thanks for any advice or input.

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