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Old 12-29-2012, 04:45 AM   #1
tania7424
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NEXUS air travel?

My family just got Nexus cards. We've (DH and I only, they don't do them on little kids) done our iris scans, so we're all set up for air travel. All the major airports have self serve kiosks now for Nexus. Anyways, the CBSA agent I spoke to at our interview was a little confused. She said that I would still need a passport to fly between Canada and the US. Doesn't Nexus supercede your passport? Who would be there to verify it if you're using a self serve kiosk? I'm of the understanding that Nexus means you're pre-cleared for travel without full inspection because in order to get it you've gone through a CSIS, FBI, CBSA and DHS security check. You're considered a low risk traveler, fill out your TDC and you're on your way. It's actually called a trusted traveler program. TSA says we can use our Nexus cards only, if I'm reading it right.

FTR, our two sons and I do not have passports. We only ever travel between the US and Canada. We've been traveling by land only using my enhanced drivers license and my sons' birth certificates. Our Nexus cards were issued using those even. Long story short, do I need to get passports for the kids and I? We're going from Vancouver to Orlando this summer. Both are Nexus airports. Both mine and DS1's passports were reported stolen and it's going to cost a boat load of money to have them replaced. I need statutory declarations for both of us (not the same as a notary, it turns out) and I'm looking at around $80 per declaration on top of the new $125 passport fee. That would be in addition to the $110 I paid for an enhanced drivers license and $50 for Nexus.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:41 AM   #2
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I believe you still need your passport when flying, I found this on the CBSA faq section:

Can NEXUS cards be used as proof of identification and to denote citizenship in non-NEXUS lanes when entering Canada?

Yes. NEXUS cards are now accepted as proof of identification and to denote citizenship when entering Canada at all land and marine ports of entry. This means that Canadian or U.S. citizens who are NEXUS members may use their membership card when entering Canada by boat or by land when using non-NEXUS lanes.

NEXUS members who are permanent residents of Canada or the U.S. are still required to travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence, and may be requested to present these documents to the officer upon arrival at the border.

Please note that the use of the NEXUS card as proof of identification and to denote citizenship does not apply when entering Canada by air.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
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I was just reading on the Gov passport site about the changes to passports as of July 2013 and it stated that there currently is no fee to replace a lost or stolen passport.


As to your main question about if the Nexus card is enough......I personally, would not take the chance in not having passports. I can't say what the actual rule is and hopefully someone here has some info on it but I have investigated getting a Nexus card and it appeared to me that a passport was still required. There are just too many people that you have to deal with in the airport and the chance that they are all not 100% informed is kind of high, IMO.


ETA: I see that as I was typing Keaster jumped in with some good info
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:33 AM   #4
tania7424
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The only charge to replace it before was the cost of the new passport. It's whoever is taking the statutory declaration that is required that is charging the extra.

This totally contradicts the need of a passport though. It's so confusing.

Is the NEXUS card a WHTI compliant document?

Yes, it is a WHTI compliant document for entry into the United States.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is a U.S. law that requires all travellers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, to present a valid passport or other acceptable secure document, such as a NEXUS card, when travelling to or through the U.S. from within the western hemisphere. The goal of the U.S. WHTI law is to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the U.S. for its citizens and legitimate foreign visitors.

It's important to note that there are no changes to the entry or re-entry requirements into Canada.

But then there's this:

Please note that the use of the NEXUS card as proof of identification and to denote citizenship does not apply when entering Canada by air.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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That's the thing, the rules are different for flying as opposed to ground crossing. It sounds like you need the passport to prove citizenship when flying back home from the U.S.

We are recent Nexus members as well and have always had passports. While it is an added expense I do appreciate the extra security it provides if something were to happen and we need assistance.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:23 PM   #6
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My fiancé has a Nexus card and we were under the impression that it just means he doesn't have to go through all the security checks, not that it has anything to do with his passport.
He has been asked to show his passport several times on his return from US airports.

If it were me I would get a passport just to be safe.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:09 PM   #7
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I am a NEXUS member as well and would not risk going without my passport. Keep in mind you will still have to stand in front of a customs officer when going into the US and Canada after going through the self-serve kiosk to provide them with the documentation from the kiosk. I would not want to be without my passport if for some reason they started asking questions especially when entering the US.

Also, keep in mind that there have been some reports in the US about TSA agents not recognizing a NEXUS card as an acceptable form of identification at security check points (even though it is clearly listed as such on their website and TSA Pre Check is in place in several airports). Not to say it will happen in your case as MCO would see its fair share of Canadians but if they see you are on an international flight and start asking for a passport and you do not have one it could cause some inconvenience on your end.

I fall into the "better safe than sorry" category with these things.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:00 PM   #8
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As everyone has said, you have to still have your passport when entering the US by air. Cross border crossing via car you are ok with Nexus only. If you are on a cruise however and perhaps flew out of the USA to your embarkations destination you are still required to have a Passport to show US authorities when returning to US soil.
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