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Crossing the US/Canada Border


Personal identification. You’ll need a passport or other proof of citizenship, such as an original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised state seal. With a birth certificate, you also must have an official photo ID, such as a driver’s license. Visas are not required for stays less than 180 days. 

Unlike when entering the US, Canada has no plans to follow the lead of the United States and fingerprint and photograph landed immigrants from that country when they visit Canada.

Vehicle papers. Be sure to carry your vehicle registration information as well as proof of insurance. Check with your insurance carrier about your coverage in other countries. 


Under the rules that came into effect on January 31, 2008, people will no longer be allowed simply to declare to immigration officers at border crossings that they are citizens.

Instead, those 19 and older will have to show proof of citizenship – a passport, trusted-traveler card or a birth certificate and government-issued identification such as a driver's license.

About Canadian Passport Renewal

As of Aug. 15, 2007, people looking to renew their Canadian passports will be able to do so by filling out a shorter form, and submitting two new passport photos, their expiring passport and the application fee. They would not have to resubmit a number of documents including proof of citizenship and a declaration from a guarantor, as long as:

They lived in Canada when they applied.
They lived in Canada when they applied for their expiring passport.
They were 16 or older when they applied for their expiring passport.

As well, their previous passport:

Must have been valid for five years.
Must have been issued after January 31, 2002.
Must not have been damaged or reported lost or stolen.
Must have been issued under their current name.

For Canadians applying for their first passport, the government says one key change will simplify the process. As of Oct. 1, 2007, most Canadian adult passport holders will be able to act as guarantors for first-time applicants, as long as they hold a five-year Canadian passport that is valid or has been expired for no more than one year. The guarantor:

May be a family member.
May reside at the same address as the applicant.
Must have known the applicant for at least two years.
Must be a Canadian citizen 18 or older and must have been at least 16 when they applied for their own passport.

You can renew your old passport — or apply for your first one in person at a passport office, by mail, or through receiving agents (such as travel agents).

Pets. Cats and dogs must be free of disease. For dogs more than three months old, you must carry a valid rabies vaccination certificate. For all other types of pets, check individual guidelines. 

Hand Guns- Leave them at home

December 20, 2005 - Brockville Recorder and Times

A $150 handgun has cost a Texas man five days in jail and a $3,000 fine.

That's the penalty Ontario Court Justice Charles Anderson imposed Monday after rejecting Alton Rush Allen's sworn testimony that he didn't know the gun was in his vehicle when he crossed into Canada earlier this year.

"A further brief period in custody is appropriate so that the word will get out to all, including Americans who are entering Canada, that having a gun is going to be dealt with by significant penalties," said Anderson. "It is clear that handguns in any society, and increasingly in Canadian society, are causing grief, murder and mayhem.

Medications. Take the medicines you need, including a few extra doses in case you extend your trip. Be sure to carry all prescriptions in their original containers bearing your name and the name of the issuing pharmacy. Because different drugs are illegal in different countries, declare any prescriptions you are carrying to the customs official as you enter the country. Consider carrying a copy of your prescription from your doctor—in case your medication is lost. 

Food and plants. Clean out your cooler or RV refrigerator. In general, US and Canada prohibit the entry of any fruits, vegetables and other live plants. Fresh meat also is prohibited in most cases. 

Information. Log on to US Border Protection for more specific travel information, including border wait times and procedures. U.S. citizens also can contact the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225, www.state.gov/travel . Canadian residents contact the Consular Affairs Bureau at 1-800-267-6788, www.voyage.gc.ca

Border Wait Times
Border Wait Times USA Customs  and  Border Wait Times Canadian Customs

Traveling by Boat to Canada - Day Travelers: 

Boaters who are not participants in the CANPASS Private Boats program for frequent low-risk travelers must call Customs at 1-888-226-7277 ONLY upon arrival in Canada. 

You will be asked for your final destination, purpose of visit, length of intended stay in Canada, and the name, date of birth and citizenship of each person on board. You must declare all goods brought into Canada by any person on the boat. 

If any duties or taxes are payable, you may charge them to a valid VISA or MasterCard account. Upon completion of this call, you will be provided with a clearance number, and allowed to proceed or, in a few instances, requested to remain aboard the vessel until an inspector arrives. 

For any questions regarding a customs reporting location, call Canada Customs at 1-888-226-7277 before departure to ensure that reporting is permitted at your intended landing site.

The following Regulation about Crossing the US/Can 
Border using a private boat entering Canada apply:
( Canpass Private Boat Pass and Application in .pdf format )

Do you have any stories about your border crossing?

Some Links

Ontario Seatbelt Safety Guide

Canadian Boarder Services Agency

Canada Customs 

Search the US Customs & Border Security Database of FAQ's

We’re Moving to Canada

Passport Canada: Lost, Stolen, Inaccessible, Damaged or Found Passports
Guidelines for Travel Documents

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tdc Marketing and Management Consultation