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Alaska Marine Highway

Mike asks...
(Driving the AlCan or taking the Alaska Marine Highway)

I have some questions about going to Alaska. How hard was it to got thru the border? Do you need a passport? Didn't used to; we lived in Michigan. How far did you have to travel thru Canada to get to Alaska? We have a converted bus (old greyhound). In USA, if you have turned your bus into a motorhome you don't need a CDL-B. I was curious if you need one in Canada.

Coleen, the RVing editor replies:

You need a passport. When driving between Canada and the USA, you can use either the traditional passport book or the new passport card. If you aren't familiar with the card, they're the size of a credit card, and are good for crossing the Canadian and Mexican borders, but not other countries and not for flying.

Border crossings may be quick or may take hours. You might be waved through with barely a look at your identification. Then again, you could go through extensive questioning and have border agents thoroughly search your rig. We've experienced both. The one constant is that whenever we have crossed, the border agents have been polite.

I think that if you have the license required to drive your rig in your home state that that is good in Canada.

Yes, the Alaska Marine Highway is an alternative. We've never taken it, though, so I don't have first hand information. Info at

Border crossing regulations change. Be sure to do an up-to-date check before you head out to see what is required, along with what you are or are not allowed to take across the border.

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