Do You Need a Passport to Visit Niagara Falls?

Do you need a passport to visit Niagara Falls is a question that gets asked all the time nowadays, because there was a time when you could drive across the border all day long and never need to worry about showing too much identification.  However, times have changed and so have the requirements for visiting Niagara Falls.  

First, you need to be aware that Niagara Falls can be enjoyed from both sides of the falls.  Therefore, you can spend a good amount of time over on the New York State side without needing to worry about crossing the border.  Therefore, your passport dilemma may be dependent on which side of Niagara Falls you want to enjoy!

Do You Need a Passport to See Niagara Falls in New York?

When you make the trip to Niagara Falls in New York, you will find yourself in a flurry of excitement thanks to the rushing water of both the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.  While these two waterfalls are stunning in their own way, they are nothing compared to the Horseshoe Falls that can be seen on the Canadian side. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy these two waterfalls and all the attractions that are nearby.  

In addition to seeing the waterfalls, you can walk over the bridge to 3 Sisters Islands, walk around Niagara Falls State Park, and take a tour of the Schoellkopf Power Plant Ruins.  You can even take a hike in the Niagara River Gorge! 

Niagara Falls - Passport to Visit Niagara Falls

The best part about enjoying Niagara Falls from the New York side is that a valid passport is not needed, as long as you are a US citizen.  This is an excellent option if your passport just expired or you want to do an impromptu vacation and do not have time to wait for your passports.  

You will have an amazing time on this side of the falls, and you can always see the other side once you have the necessary identification.  

Do You Need a Passport to See Niagara Falls in Canada?

The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is where you can see views of Horseshoe Falls and take a ride on the Maid of the Mist.  You can also take a stroll in Queen Victoria Park, which offers spectacular views of the falls, or for better views, ride five hundred and twenty feet in the air at Skylon Tower.  

When it comes to traveling to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls for a visit, you must have something more than your driver’s license with you.  You must also be aware that the requirements are different depending on whether you are driving or flying into the country.  

Those who drive into Canada to visit Niagara Falls will need one of three different types of identification.  While a driver’s license is no longer enough, the newer enhanced driver’s licenses will meet the requirements.  The other two forms of identification include a passport card and a passport.

Niagara Falls, Canada - Passport to Visit Niagara Falls

If you are wondering what the difference is between the passport card and a passport, we have you covered!  The passport card is cheaper than a passport, but it only allows you to enter Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean via land or sea.  This card will not allow you to fly into any of these areas and gain access to the countries. You are also not allowed to try to use this card to fly or travel into any other countries around the world. 

Therefore, a passport card is the way to go if you do not plan on flying to any foreign countries and do not plan on visiting anywhere else other than the countries listed.  

When you obtain a passport, you are given access to enter other countries via land, sea, or air, which is why many frequent travelers choose to pay the extra money.  It is worth it to them, because they want to see the world in many different ways.  

Children and Passports for the Canadian Side of Niagara Falls

Not every parent wants to get their child a passport when they are young, especially if they know that they won’t be traveling too much.  The good news is that children under the age of sixteen are not required to have a passport to cross the border into the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.  

The only identification that you will need to have for them is their birth certificate.  As long as you are their parent, you won’t need anything else. However, if you are traveling with a child that is not yours, you must have a handwritten note from their parents with a signature, as well as an itinerary and contact phone numbers.  

Do you need a passport to visit Niagara Falls is a valid question, but as you can see, it is not always necessary.  While you can go to Niagara Falls without a passport, you may need to stay on one side of the border, depending on the type of identification you have in place.  Thankfully, you can enjoy Niagara Falls from either side and don’t need to stress too much over what documents you need to go to Niagara Falls. Just visit the side that you can with the identification that you have in place.  

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