Do You Need A Passport To Go To Alaska?

do you need a passport to go to alaska

Find out if you require a passport to travel to Alaska by car, plane, or ship.

In the United States, Alaska is the largest state. It shares a maritime border with Russia to the west and a land border with Canada to the east. Alaska can be reached in a variety of ways, including by car, plane, or boat.

Due to Alaska’s separation from the rest of the US, it is unclear what documentation is required to enter the state. Travelers still wonder, “do For my trip to Alaska, do I need a passport?”

However, starting on May 3, 2023, US citizens will also need a REAL ID in order to travel to Alaska by plane. Passports are required for international visitors. Passports are required for US citizens traveling to Alaska by car through Canada. If there are stops in Canada during your cruise, you will need a passport.

To learn the answers to this query, continue reading.

Do You Need A Passport To Go To Alaska?

Read carefully and you can figure out whether you need a passport to go to Alaska by car, by plane, or by sailing.

By Car

No, in a nutshell. Driving to Alaska doesn’t require you to have a passport. There are a few things to remember, though.

A valid driver’s license is the first requirement if you intend to drive to Alaska from the US mainland. Along with that, you must have proof of insurance and vehicle registration.

Furthermore, Alaska is not connected to the US mainland. You must enter Canada in order to travel by car to Alaska. Passports are not required if you intend to travel to Alaska by car through Canada. A passport is the most convenient form of identification to use when traveling across borders, though.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) states that a variety of different documents, including a US passport, a US passport card, a trusted traveler card, an enhanced driver’s license (EDL), and an enhanced tribal card (ETC), can be used to cross the border into Canada.

Comparable to a US Passport book is a US Passport Card. It can be used to travel domestically and within North America and serves as identification and proof of US citizenship. It is not, however, a recognized form of identification for travel to the majority of foreign countries.

do you need a passport to go to alaska

An EDL is not the same as a regular diver’s license. You will be denied entry at the border if you attempt to use a regular US driver’s license. EDLs offer identification and proof of US citizenship. Only residents of a few states can access them.

You must successfully pass a thorough background check in order to participate in Trusted Travel Programs like NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI. To complete this application process, you must possess a passport. With the help of these programs, you can swiftly cross the border.

Only Native American tribe members are eligible for ETCs. These documents serve as acceptable proof of identity and citizenship and are practically equivalent to US passports.

A passport must be current if you plan to cross the border with it. Having a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date you cross the border is also advised. Although it’s not a requirement, a nearing expiration date might prompt more border checks.

By Plane

This question has a slightly more complicated answer. Passports are not required for direct flights from the US mainland to Alaska. However, if your flight to Alaska includes a stopover in Canada, you’ll need a passport.

The reasoning behind this is that when you take a flight to Alaska with a stopover in Canada, you are technically entering that country. And as we already established, a passport is required to enter Canada.

If you are flying to Alaska, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, it’s always a good idea to travel with a passport, even if you don’t need one. The most reliable form of identification is a passport, which will greatly simplify your situation if you lose all of your other forms of identification.

Second, regardless of whether you have a layover in Canada or not, if you are flying to Alaska from outside the US, you will need a passport.

do you need a passport to drive to alaska

Finally, upon arrival in Alaska, you will be required to present identification if you are a citizen of the United States but not a resident of Alaska. This may be a passport, driver’s license, or state-issued identification.

By Sailing

Take your passport with you if you’re taking a trans-ocean or trans-pacific cruise! We firmly advise you to travel with your passport and a picture ID on hand because it is always preferable to err on the side of safety when doing so.

Please carefully read the list of compliant documents provided by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).

Although it might speed up the process of receiving clearance on return, U.S. citizens traveling directly to Alaska and back from Alaska are not required to show their passports.

Americans and non-American permanent residents must ensure that they have the necessary travel documentation by contacting the appropriate authorities such as either an American embassy or an American immigration office.

Permanent residents of the United States must have a current Permanent Resident Card when they travel.

Travel Restrictions for Alaska: Covid-19 Protocol

When a patient has been released from isolation by a healthcare professional or public health organization, that person is then permitted entry into the state. Those who are not fully immunized should get tested when they arrive. At participating airports, testing is free.

In Alaska, including at the airports and clinics that participate, every traveler is entitled to a free COVID-19 vaccination. All Covid-19 recommendations made by the CDC while in Alaska, such as face mask use and social seclusion, are applicable.

do you need a passport to drive to alaska

The US discontinued the Covid testing requirements for all passengers flying within the US in June 2022. Individuals leaving the US after March 26, 2022, are no longer required to provide proof of immunization.

If you are currently Covid-19 positive, you must wait until your isolation period is over before traveling to Alaska. Alternatively, you require authorization from a health organization or medical professional.

Check with your cruise line before you embark on an Alaskan cruise. The majority of significant cruise lines continue to demand Covid-19 testing or proof of immunization.

Some airlines demand that travelers take a test the day after boarding. Therefore, make sure to review the specific rules for your cruise.

Why Do People Visit Alaska?

Alaska is a place of extremes. Despite being the biggest state in the US, it only has about 700,000 residents. With imposing mountains, pristine forests, and breathtaking glaciers, it has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the entire world. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, such as bears, moose, eagles, and whales.


It is understandable why Alaska is a well-liked travel destination for people from all over the world. Because of the state’s scenic beauty and wilderness, more than 2 million people visit it each year.

Alaska is a great destination for outdoor adventures. There are eight national parks there, two of which are well-known worldwide: Denali and Kenai Fjords. Within the parks, there are lots of opportunities for hiking, backpacking, and rafting.

The Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, can be seen if you travel during the winter. And summer is the ideal season to go salmon fishing or whale watching.

How Long Will It Take to Get to Alaska?

Depending on where you start your journey, it will take a while to travel to Alaska. For instance, those who choose to stay in British Columbia will reach Alaska faster than those who choose to stay in Chicago.

Typically, it takes more than 30 hours to drive to Canada from the United States. In most cases, this can take up to 4 days, unless you drive continuously throughout the day and night. Eight hours, or an additional day trip, are required for the drive from the Canadian border with Alaska to Anchorage.

Conclusions on Needing a Passport to Go to Alaska

To travel to Alaska, you do not need a passport. Alaska’s location is what makes it special; getting there requires a ferry, a plane, or a car that must pass through Canada to get there. You will need to present legal identification, though. A driver’s license and citizenship documentation are required if you plan to drive.

All US citizens who are 18 years of age or older must have a REAL ID as of May 23, 2023. Passports are required for all international visitors to Alaska, regardless of age.


Can You Drive to Alaska Without a Canadian Passport?

You do not require a passport if you intend to travel to Alaska by car through Canada. When crossing the border, a passport is the most convenient form of identification.

Can a Canadian Drive into the US Without a Passport?

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) mandates that Canadian citizens entering the United States by land or water must show one of the following documents: a current passport. This requirement applies to Canadian citizens aged 16 and older. 

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