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July 27, 2007 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Are Canadian citizens flying from one US city to another required to show a passport? My friend wants to go from Toronto to New York next weekend for work. Complication: her Canadian passport has expired. There is, of course,

She does not think there will be enough time, even with a letter from her boss indicating the importance of this trip, for the Passport Office to issue emergency documentation.

The option she is currently considering is the following:

1) Driving from Toronto to Buffalo, NY (using her birth certificate and driver's license as identifcation).

2) THEN flying from the Buffalo airport to New York City.

Is this doable?
posted by elkerette to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
And yes... I just noticed the fact that three out of the last four AskMefi questions are about Ontario :)
posted by elkerette at 6:07 PM on July 27, 2007

I just asked my Armenian coworker if he had to show his passport flying between US cities, and the answer is "no". I can't imagine it'd be any different for Canadians.
posted by trip and a half at 6:17 PM on July 27, 2007

I join you in the 3/4 serendipity! (And I just joined you in Toronto if that's where you are!)

I'm sorry I can't answer your question for sure, but I do have an anecdote that may be helpful: I recently flew within the US with no ID but my expired YMCA card. All that happened was that I had to go through extra security (which was actually faster than the security for the properly ID'd.) I could've been Canadian, German, or Lilliputian for all they knew.
posted by nonmyopicdave at 6:20 PM on July 27, 2007

If she has her documentation and goes in person, an expedited passport only takes 48 hours to process and pick up.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:29 PM on July 27, 2007

If work is paying for the ticket, there's little to lose. If they insist on a valid passport for some reason, just get back in the car and drive.

NB: this only works if she travels the day before. Buffalo --> NYC is a long drive.

If she has her documentation and goes in person, an expedited passport only takes 48 hours to process and pick up.

Passport Canada has not been very reliable about how long things take for the past few months.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:39 PM on July 27, 2007

If she's got her Canadian birth certificate and DL, she should be fine; if it's good enough for the border and immigration folks, it's good enough for the TSA (our version of your CATSA, basically). I think as long as an airline is satisfied that it's you - and I imagine the employees of airlines at Buffalo's airport see a lot of Ontarians(?) - she'll be able to fly. The birth certificate, DL, and expired passport is way more ID than I ever fly with - I've flown heaps of times just using my public university ID, for example, though I could have shown them a DL if asked.

And: TSA spokesperson Greg Warren insisted there is no federal ban on flying without an ID. "TSA requires air carriers to request a valid form of identification from a government issuer," Warren said. "The actual presentation of ID by passengers is not required. Refusal to allow passengers to board or not board the aircraft is at the discretion of the airline.". And here's a guy who flew with no ID whatsoever.
posted by mdonley at 7:01 PM on July 27, 2007

Yes, that will work fine. All that is needed for domestic flights in the U.S. is standard I.D. for all passengers.

I live in Windsor and people from the area fly throughout the U.S. from Detroit all the time without passports.
posted by yupislyr at 7:08 PM on July 27, 2007

My 2 cents...last year flew from Syracuse to Chicago to Las Vegas...only had to show the passport when we crossed the border, otherwise, clear sailing (flying?).
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 7:11 PM on July 27, 2007

My bf and I, as Canadians in Vancouver, went to Vegas in May. He doesn't have a passport, so we flew out of Seattle. It was easier than I thought.
posted by cgg at 8:26 PM on July 27, 2007

What mdonley said in the small print. The federal government doesn't require you to have ID to fly domestically in the U.S., although if you don't have it, you will get extra screening. So if you have something like a Canadian DL or even an expired passport, that should be good enough.
posted by grouse at 3:35 AM on July 28, 2007

If she's willing to pay ($70), she can get the passport issued in 24 hours.
posted by bluefrog at 6:42 AM on July 28, 2007

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