Victoria: Passport for travel to/from Canada?

Jul 30th, 2005, 12:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 31
Victoria: Passport for travel to/from Canada?

Hi we will be traveling to Seattle in a few weeks and I was considering taking the ferry to Victoria from Port Angeles. The ferry web sites state that US drivers licenses are adequate as well as birth certificates for the kids however they highly recommend a passport if you have one.......Is this an issue? Our passports have expired and I'm not sure we could get them renewed in time without paying for them to be expeditied (+ 60 each)....of course I don't want to chance any problem at the border going either way. Thanks!
bbvb is offline  
Jul 30th, 2005, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,883
This issue gets addressed a lot on the Canada forum. The short answer is - no, strictly speaking you don't need a passport. You need 2 pieces of photo ID, ideally including a driver's licence, as well as a birth certificate; and if you have kids with you, you need some kind of proof that they belong to you or have permission to travel with you. Having said that - customs officers can decide to delay you by asking lots of questions and generally being extremely thorough. The easiest way around this is to have a passport. So the website is about as accurate as it can be. If you really want to take every possible step to avoid problems and inconvenience, I'd get your passports renewed. These days with heightened security everywhere it's probably the best way to go.
Meesthare is offline  
Jul 30th, 2005, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Note the birth cirtificates are not just for the kids. Everybody needs one since a drivers lic is not proof of citizenship. And the problem will not be getting into Canada - but back into the US.

Even if your passports are out of date I would bring them - they're still much better than just a drivers lic.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 30th, 2005, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Right. On a recent trip, there was no problem getting into Canada, but the border guard wanted ID when we returned, and we were glad we had our passports with us.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 161
Yes - do bring passports. WE've had trouble getting back into the US with only driver's licenses (the lady said "anyone can get those". I also understand that shortly passports will be mandatory.
Rhardy5554 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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"The lady" was an idiot.

Currently, treaties between the US and Canada state that passports are not required for citizens to travel between the two countries.

Maybe you should have told "the lady" that it's not all that tough to get an illegal passport. (I know, I know: who needs the hassle with a border agent?)
j_999_9 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
The correct answer is this. You need one of each:

1. a government-issued document that proves identity.

2. a document that shows citizenship.

A passport satisfy both; and is therefore the preferred way for most. However, you can bring both a driver license (proves ID), and a birth certificate (proves citizenship).
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 7,090
The US border crossing is tightening considerably. Passports are best. Barring that, you should bring a certified copy of everyone's birth certificate and photo ids. (Note - certified - not just a copy) Bring your expired passports, too.

When we entered on our boat a few weeks ago, customs in the San Juan Islands, was boarding and searching every boat. We had never seen this before. We used to be able to call in with a pin number issued annually as we crossed into US waters. The rules changed in April, and it is much more difficult to get a pin number.
Orcas is offline  

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