What are the Dos' and Don'ts when driving across the Canadian Border?
Replies: 33 - Last Post: Jan 26, 2013 7:12 AM Last Post By: stufried
Jan 17, 2013 12:14 AM
What are the Dos' and Don'ts when driving across the Canadian Border?This upcoming Spring I will be crossing the Border going into Canada from Montana but I do not want any surprises when I get to the border. I will be traveling with two young children and a husband so I want to make sure it is a quick cross with no issues but do not want to do the wrong thing when going through the security check. I also want to make sure everything we need or need to do is ready to go.
What are the Do's and Don'ts? Example should we not bring any particular item(s) or should we have a particular document out and ready to show?
Jan 17, 2013 2:16 AM
1Just the obvious stuff -- no weapons, drugs etc. You're allowed to bring in a certain about of liquor but you should double check the limit. What forms you need depends on where you're from. You should double check about visas based on your home country. You will definitely all need passports though, and will probably have to fill out a form answering a few questions. There are limits to how much in purchased goods you can bring into Canada duty-free depending on how long you've been in the US. It's a good idea to hold on to receipts for anything you buy in the US in case they hassle you about the stuff you're bringing in. Also, it goes without saying, but don't make any stupid jokes at the border -- US border control doesn't take stuff like that very lightly.
Jan 17, 2013 4:42 AM
Jan 17, 2013 5:22 AM
5If you have hubby present,passports,auto documents and cash or credit cards to demonstrate funds available...You should sail right through...If your from Montana you do not need to be told, to dress warm ... carracar
Jan 17, 2013 5:48 AM
6If you have automobile insurance from a U.S. company, ask them for a free "yellow card" (Canadian Non-Resident Inter-Province Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card) documenting that your insurance covers you in Canada. If you don't, but you are renting a car from the U.S., ask the rental company if a "yellow card" comes with the vehicle.
Jan 17, 2013 7:24 AM
7Are your children included on your passports? You might suggest to your young children that they be quiet unless directly questioned by the guards. Not to scare them but to indicate they are having a special experience.
Since you are thinking ahead, take a look at what is required to re-enter the United States. The more severe border attitudes of the last decade have been generated by your homeland-security policies which Canada has followed. My experiences in general have been routine but can't be generalized from my big-city crossings to relatively remote outposts on the Prairies. For instance, at busy inspection stations it is only a small fraction of travellers who are sent to secondary inspection to fill out forms.
Jan 17, 2013 7:52 AM
8If either of you have an impaired driving conviction, that can be a problem. Canada views these much more seriously than the US does, and - depending on how recent your conviction was and what your track record has been since then - you may be ruled criminally inadmissible and turned back. If this applies to either of you, best to check with a Canadian embassy or consulate on how to clear this up BEFORE you try to cross into Canada.
Don't lie or "forget" about any prior convictions - cooperation between Canada and the US is very close and the border services officer may have access to your US criminal record.
Jan 17, 2013 11:35 AM
9Thank You everyone for the helpful tips, this is all great tips and of course common sense but I would have never thought about not bringing in meat, I was going to pack up some of our elk meat to bring to some friends. So I will not bring that!
carracar: I would have never thought to bring documents to prove funds available? Why is this required?
nrclibn: I did not know this about insurance, I will give my insurance company a call and ask for the "yellow card" what happens if a person goes to Canada without a Yellowcard?
ref_traveller : And yes I from America, but I am Italian.
country_wife : With the impaired driving, I am just wondering (neither of us have one) but if someone does have one and they are only the passenger are they still not allowed through the border?
Jan 17, 2013 12:34 PM
10Canada will want some assurance that you and brood will not become a burden on the somewhat healthier national economy...Canadian law and it's enforcement... carracar
Jan 17, 2013 12:42 PM
Jan 17, 2013 1:05 PM
Jan 17, 2013 1:30 PM
13#7 I have found in too many border crossings to remember in the past 60+ yrs that the US has always been less hassle & border officers much more accommodating & friendlier than their Canadian counterparts, especially since the name was changed to CBSA with their Fascist tendencies towards returning Canadians.
OP only answer questions asked, do not volunteer extra info & be prepared for the grumpiest people on the planet, a requirement for any Canuck civil servant dealing with the public.
Jan 17, 2013 1:46 PM
14I have probably crossed the border 300 times (I live 20 minutes away from Canada) and I have never, ever been asked anything about funds (even at 18 and 19). Of course they could, but they don't. They do ask about guns, drugs, etc (never have any) and not only meat but fruits and vegetables. They ask about cigarettes and alcohol.
I also haven't ever used a yellow card or even heard it mentioned. Your US insurance does cover you.
As far as the impaired driving, it is not just the driver but the fact that you have it that is the problem. You can get waivers for this, but generally people with them need to speak to a lawyer because you can't normally get them at the border.
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