Alaska passport requirements often cause confusion for U.S. travelers. You might assume that a passport isn’t required to enter Alaska since it is considered domestic travel within the U.S., but that’s not always true. While Alaska passport requirements state that a passport isn’t required for arrival by plane, a passport is necessary when visiting via car or ship.
There is a difference in what documents are needed for Alaska passport requirements based on the type of travel to the state. For instance, when arriving by plane, you do not need to have a valid passport. If, however, you are traveling by car, and therefore have to cross into Canada to reach Alaska, or a cruise ship that stops in Canada, it’s necessary to have a valid passport on hand.
Alaska Passport Requirements
Traveling between states within the United States is considered domestic travel, and a passport isn’t required when crossing borders. Alaska passport requirements, however, are slightly different in that a passport isn’t required when arriving by air, but is necessary when you travel by car—and therefore have to pass through Canada to reach Alaska—or cruise ship with stops in Canada.
How to Get a Passport Book for Travel to Alaska
Apply for a passport as soon as travel is confirmed. The cost will be greater if applying for a passport within two weeks of travel time (in which case you will need an expedited application). You can learn more about passport requirements and documents needed to obtain a U.S. passport here.
Other Alaska Travel Requirements
So, Do I Need a Passport to Visit Alaska?
In summary: It depends on how you get there. Alaska passport requirements state that a passport isn’t required when traveling from the mainland to Alaska by air since it is considered domestic travel, but a passport is required when arriving by car or ship that stops in Canada.