The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian citizens travel with a valid Canadian passport because it is the only reliable and universally accepted travel and identification document available to Canadians for the purpose of international travel.
Documents for entry into the United States Land and water ports of entry (Effective June 1, 2009)
Canadian citizens are required to present one of the following valid WHTI-compliant documents when entering the United States by land or water:
Note: Canadian citizens entering the United States by land but exiting by air must present a valid passport or a NEXUS card in compliance with U.S. air exit requirements. Refer to the air travel requirements for more information.
Canadian citizens aged 15 years or under are only required to present proof of Canadian citizenship, such as an original or a photocopy of a birth certificate, or an original citizenship card. Canadian citizens 18 years of age or under who are travelling with a school or other organized group, under adult supervision with parental/guardian consent, may also present proof of Canadian citizenship alone.
The United States has indicated that it will take a common sense approach to implementing the WHTI at its land and water ports of entry, which includes a period of flexibility after June 1, 2009. The Government of Canada cautions travellers that the length and extent of this flexibility is entirely at the discretion of U.S. officials.
Travelling with Children
Parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. It is also recommended that they have a letter of authorization from the other custodial parent to take the child on a trip out of the country. Such a letter will confirm that the child is not being abducted or taken against his/her will. The parents’ full name, address and telephone number should be Included in the letter of authorization.
When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as the children.
Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children.
The permission letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or guardian can be reached.
CBSA officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about the children who are traveling with you.