About Traveling To And From Canada And The United States
What are the Passport Requirements?
U.S. Citizens with Pending Passport Applications Allowed Temporary Travel Flexibility
The U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security announced June 8, 2007 that U.S. citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda who have applied for but not yet received passports can nevertheless temporarily enter and depart from the United States by air with a government issued photo identification and Department of State official proof of application for a passport through September 30, 2007. The federal government is making this accommodation for air travel due to longer than expected processing times for passport applications in the face of record-breaking demand.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was mandated by Congress in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for citizens and legitimate international visitors. WHTI requirements for air travel took effect on January 23, 2007.
Adults who have applied for but not yet received a passport should present government-issued photo identification and an official proof of application from the U.S. Department of State. Children under the age of 16 traveling with their parents or legal guardian will be permitted to travel with the child’s proof of application. Travelers who have not applied for a passport should not expect to be accommodated. U.S. citizens with pending passport applications can obtain proof of application here.
Where do I get a passport?
There are 14 passport agencies to apply for your passport . Your local court house or local post office will be the most common acceptance facilities. Your nearest passport acceptance facility. For a complete source of information for applying for a passport and all additional requirements, visit the U.S. Department of State at for Travel or call the U.S. National Passport Information Center at: (877) 487-2778; TDD/TTY: (888) 874-7793
What documentation do I need to apply for a passport?
You will need to provide a certified copy of your Birth Certificate. A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. If you do not have a certified copy of your birth certificate, you should be able to obtain a State Certified Copy of your Birth Certificate.
You will also need proof of identity which is state issue drivers license, city state or federal government I.D., or Military I.D.. Remember that a Social Security card is not valid proof of identity.
Where do I get passport photos?
How do I get a passport in a hurry?
Generally, obtaining a passport takes around 14 days after your application is submitted. If you need to expedite the process of renewing your passport or obtaining a passport for the first time, you may use a passport expediting service to process your application in as little as 24 hours. Using commercial passport expediting services are not recommended.
The Seattle Passport Agency is the preferred way to expedite a passport application if you are in Seattle. This office is open by appointment to those requiring a passport in less than 14 days. They may be able to process an application in less than 24 hours. If you forgot your passport or discovered your passport is expired, you will need to provide them your invoice from Northwest Seaplanes which includes the travel dates.
For more information on the Seattle Passport Agency, please call them at 1-877-487-2778. They are located in downtown Seattle in the Federal Building. There may be a passport agency in your city. Locate a passport agency near you.
What documentation is required to bring children under 18 years into Canada?
Border services officers are on alert for children who need protection. Children under the age of 18 are classified as minors and are subject to the same entry requirements as any other visitor to Canada.
We will conduct a more detailed examination of minors entering Canada without proper identification or those travelling in the company of adults other than their parents or legal guardian(s). This additional scrutiny helps ensure the safety of the children.
Minors travelling alone must have proof of citizenship and a letter from both parents detailing the length of stay, providing the parents’ telephone number and authorizing the person waiting for them to take care of them while they are in Canada. Click the link for a PDF version of the consent letter, this can be printed, filled out, notarized, and brought in on the day of the flight. Consent Letter doc.
If you are travelling with minors, you must carry proper identification for each child such as a birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, permanent resident card or Certificate of Indian Status.
If you are divorced or separated, you should carry with you copies of the legal custody agreements for your children. If you are travelling with minors and you are not their parent/guardian, you should have written permission from the parent/guardian authorizing the trip. The letter should include addresses and telephone numbers of where the parents or guardian can be reached and identify a person who can confirm that the children are not being abducted or taken against their will. Click the link for a PDF version of the consent letter, this can be printed, filled out, notarized, and brought in on the day of the flight. Consent Letter doc
If you are travelling with a group of aircraft, make sure you arrive at the border in the same aircraft as your children, to avoid any confusion.
How much alcohol can I bring into Canada?
If you meet the Canada minimum age requirement to purchase alcohol of 19 years of age, you are allowed to import only one of the following amounts of alcohol free of duty and taxes. Don’t forget that our baggage restriction is 25 lbs. per person. Alcohol is included in that weight!
- 1.5 litres (53 imperial ounces) of wine;
- 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of liquor;
- A total of 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of wine and liquor; or
- 24 x 355 millilitre (12 ounces) cans or bottles (maximum of 8.5 litres) of beer or ale. Beer is not allowed on scheduled flights; chartered flights only with advance notice.
How much tobacco can I bring into Canada?
You are allowed to bring in all of the following amounts of tobacco into Canada without paying duty:
- 200 cigarettes;
- 50 cigars or cigarillos;
- 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco; and
- 200 tobacco sticks
Can I travel to Canada having a criminal history (including a DUI)?
If you have committed or been convicted of a criminal offense, you may be prohibited from entering Canada.
Criminal offenses include both minor and serious offences such as theft, assault, dangerous driving, driving while intoxicated, and manslaughter, among others. For a complete list of criminal offenses in Canada, please consult the Canadian Criminal Code.
If you have a criminal past as defined by Canadian Law and you are denied entry into Canada, then you will be responsible for your transportation costs back to the United States. If you have any question of whether you may be denied, please consult the Canada Customs.
If you have not committed these offenses recently, you may be able to overcome these past convictions. To find out how you may be able to overcome a past conviction.
With criminal history, you may be denied entry in Canada which will require you to be transported back to the United States. You will be responsible for any cost involved in your transportation back to the US and will not be entitled to a refund for your airfare. We will try our best to accommodate you on one of our flights returning back from Canada. We do not always have space available on the return, however. A charter plane may be required to make a special trip for your return to the US; the cost will be your responsibility. Contact Canada Customs if you have questions about any prior criminal history, even if it is from your distant past.
Can I bring my pets with me to Canada?
You may bring your pet (dog or cat) into Canada as long as you have pre-arranged space with Northwest Seaplanes. Northwest Seaplanes reserves the right to refuse transport to any animals.
Dogs over 25 but less than 50 lbs will be charged 25% of the one way passenger fare. Dogs over 50 lbs but less than 75 lbs will be charged 50% of the one way passenger fare. Dogs over 75 lbs will be charged a full one way fare. Cats may be denied in the event another passenger on board is allergic to felines.
If you own cats older than three months, dogs older than eight months and pet dogs between three and eight months, you may import them from the United States as long as they accompany you when you enter Canada. You will also have to submit a certificate signed and dated by a veterinarian for each pet. It must show that the animal is currently vaccinated against rabies and include the name of the vaccine used and its expiry date. In addition, it has to identify the animal by breed, age, sex, coloring and any distinguishing marks. We cannot accept an animal tag in place of a certificate. If you import pet dogs between three and eight months that do not accompany you, you may require additional permits and certifications.