Do You Need a Passport to Go to Alaska?

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A person holding a passport in his hand and a duffel bag kept on the side for travelling to Alaska. The question is- do you need a passport to go to Alaska?
Photo by nappy On Pexels Copyrights 2018

What is the first thing that strikes your mind when planning a trip abroad?

The need for a passport is the first, and if you are planning a vacation in Alaska, then you might have this query in your mind. Do you need a passport to go to Alaska?

1. Do You Need a Passport to Go to Alaska?

One of the coldest yet flourishing states, Alaska is a significant tourist hot spot in the USA.

What comes to your mind when you hear “Alaska”?  The auroras, brown bears, salmon, and a lot, well, there is a lot more to the location than just a few mere words to recognize it with.

You will find the answer to all your queries for a tour to Alaska, starting from Do you need a passport to go to Alaska?

A picture keeping his passport in his backpack. A passport is essential for travelling anywhere in the world. Do you need a passport to go to Alaska?
By Vinta Supply Co/Pexels Copyrights 2018

1.1. For Non-US Residents

Many of us want to scout the United States, and undoubtedly, places like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, and Alaska attract many tourists worldwide.

Starting from the foreigners ought to go to Alaska, travelling by air is the most convenient option for you. So, you must have a valid passport to set foot in any US state, including Alaska.

If you are from another country, except for a passport, a foreign visa is mandatory. The airport security check will stop you from entering the site if any of your identity proofs are missing on both domestic flights or direct flights.

It is an astute choice if you make a proper check and contact the designated embassy before leaving for the trip.

1.2. For US Residents

When you travel through the air to get to Alaska, you should have a REAL ID or a passport. Sometimes, a driving license is also acceptable, but state licenses do not comply with the needs.

A US resident does not need a visa to enter Alaska due to the VWP (Visa Waiver Program).

This Visa Waiver Program is an exclusive condition for American residents that allows them a 90 days stay. Though, it is compulsory to pass checkpoints and surveillance if you want to enter Alaska.

2. How to Get Access to Alaska?

Expect flying in; there are a few other ways to get access to Alaska like:

2.1. Via Road

This segment is for those who love road trips. Now, do you need a passport to go to Alaska? The answer to this is yes.

If you are seeking a pass to Alaska via driving there, then you must cross Canada. So, a passport book and a passport card are obligations.

You might also require an EDL (Enhanced Driving License) to get through customs and Canada border security.

It will be a good thing if you carry proof of citizenship or a government-issued photo ID. Although, an enhanced driver’s license can be used as a government-issued photo ID.

2.2. Via Cruise Ship

A scenic view of a Cruise Ship travelling through a lake in Alaska. Cruises are an insightful way to drop in Alaska as you can enjoy the marine life better.
Photo by Darryl Brooks on Shutterstock

There are several cruises to Alaska, and there are different requirements for each.

Cruises are an insightful way to drop in Alaska as you can enjoy the marine life better. Sometimes, cruise lines recommend you keep some identity proof when onboarding according to the Alaska Marine highway system.

2.2.1. Closed-Loop Cruise Ships

If your cruise navigates around a closed loop, i.e., starts and ends at the same city, then you are not obliged to carry a passport.

Still, you require a birth certificate or an enhanced driver’s license.

2.2.2. Open-Loop Cruise Ships

The passport for an Alaska cruise is mandatory if your cruise ships start and end in different cities. But if your cruise is not touching Canada, then the obligation of carrying a passport is void.

You should check the list of compliant documents from the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

If you are from a Western Hemisphere state, it is recommended that you check the western hemisphere travel initiative framework before travelling to the states.

3. Must Need Documents

A bundle of travelling documents for Alaska, under a miniature airplane and a light blue-coloured suitcase kept on the side. What documents do you need to travel to Alaska?
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels Copyrights 2021

A few additions to your question, it would help if you were well-prepared when it comes to identity verification, as no one wants to be questioned about their identity.

Well, even if it is a domestic trip, you must have these identifications:

  • Passport Card and Book
  • Visa, for non-US resident
  • Enhanced Driving License, if a US resident driving in
  • Birth Certificate
  • Trusted TPM Card

4. Places to Visit in Alaska

Now that you know the answer to “Do you need a passport to go to Alaska,” below-mentioned are the must-visit places to explore when in Alaska.

4.1. Fairbanks

An aerial view of the Fairbanks, Alaska. Beautiful scenery of a city with green trees, small houses and a lake streaming the middle of the city in circular shape.
Photo by Jacob Boomsma on Shutterstock

Stopping by this city will be the best thing you ever did, as Fairbanks is home to the infamous Aurora Borealis.

You will behold the midnight sun and unforgettable dusks and dawns in the city, Fairbanks is also the second-most inhabited place in Alaska.

4.2. Juneau

As the capital of Alaska, Juneau has its reputation. The city is inhabited by great wildlife and marine creatures.

You will catch sights of brown bears, species of Salmon, birds, and whales.

4.3. Haines

Except for the wildlife, a popular summer fair is organized in July here, take a look at sites like Glacier Bay National Park, and Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to espy a bald eagle.

4.4. Kodiak

This island city is also known as Emerald Isle. Kodiak is one of the islands from a group of islands in Alaska, the locale is notable for its fisheries. So, if you want to devour seafood, this is the spot for it.

There is a special Salmon run event, where you can relish hunting.

4.5. Talkeetna

This Alaskan city possesses sites like Mount McKinley and several natural glaciers, and rivers. You can go on Denali expeditions, rafting, and notice flying fish.

4.6. Kenai Fjords National Park

While preserving the rainforests, Kenai Fjords National Park has incredible wildlife. You can interact with natural terrains like glaciers and mountain peaks here.

4.7. Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve

As the name suggests, this site comprises impressive glaciers and is surrounded by mountains, you can witness mesmerizing snowfall and scenic beauty at Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve.

4.8. Katmai National Park and Reserve

Except for mountains and forest, you espy Brook Falls and catch sights of brown bears eating salmons.

When you visit Alaska you can visit the Katmai National Park and Reserve on the Alaskan peninsula and collect some memories.

4.9. Nome

The name is short, but the place is filled with some world’s most significant things. Nome is said to be where the ‘world’s biggest gold pan’ can be found.

This city is known for its mines and mining activity, you can also go birdwatching here.

5. Activities in Alaska

Alaska is home to the ultimate unparalleled universe. Here, you will behold the auroras, the longest days and nights, the midnight sun, and the longest coastline.

After answering your queries for, ‘Do you need a passport to go to Alaska?’ and ‘Where to visit?’. The next answer is ‘what to do in Alaska?’.

Sightseeing is the foremost activity you can do here, then you go to the cuisine and lifestyle. Uncountable ventures are waiting for you in Alaska; try as many as you can.

5.1. Natives

A picture of a native Alaskan lady wearing the traditional Alaskan outfit and looking happily at the camera.
Photo by Steve Jordan on Shutterstock

You will be astounded after witnessing the lives of natives, the nightlife in Alaska is something you can get addicted to effortlessly.

Do not miss out on buying some local woodcarvings or a knife.

5.2. Fishing

For some, fishing is a hobby, and for others, a lifestyle. The exceptionally clear water tempts you to try fishing here at least once in your life.

Salmons are popular and available here in plenty, apart from salmon, there are incredibly diverse species in the water. You get to scrutinize saltwater, ice water, and various other water species.

5.3. Recreational

Activities such as camping, hiking, skiing, rafting, and mountain climbing are irresistible in Alaska.

The trails for hiking are a prominent way to get a closer picture of the state’s natural beauty. You can get the trails for bicycling too.

5.4. Auroras

Go sledding and observe the dazzling Aurora Borealis. Additionally, you can listen to some traditional music and get in the mood.

5.5. Wildlife

Despite being a cold region, Alaska is rich in wildlife. So, clean your binoculars and get set!

If you are into the wilderness, then try visiting Alaska in spring or summer. You will notice the majority of the animals in springtime, like the bears and whales.

5.6. Music

It is easy to fall in love with Alaskan music, the captivating Alaskans have the kind of music that defines purity.

Their traditions are worth experiencing at least once in your lifetime. You can also participate in their traditional dances, minding you, Alaskans are ENTHUSIASTIC about dancing.

A group picture of Alaskan people dancing to their traditional Alaskan music on stage and the audience enjoying the entertaining view by sitting on their seats.
Photo by Jay Juno on Shutterstock

6. End Note: The Verdict

We hope you got an acceptable answer to your query, ‘Do you need a passport to go to Alaska?’.

Additionally, you got a complete guide for Alaska, just click on the links above to get the best travel packages and a list of documents.

Do not let your nationality be a barrier, as Alaska is SO worth a visit. Besides, USA Tales is here with a way out for you.

You will drive pleasure in excursions in Alaska.

The bottom line, here for the question do you need a passport to go to Alaska: yes, you need a passport to go to Alaska. Even if you are driving in or on a closed-loop cruise, it will not harm to have a passport.

Like what you read? Keep track of your favourite destinations with USA Tales, and make comments on your views!


Originally posted 2021-01-24 13:22:20.

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