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Old 01-23-2012, 11:04 PM   #21
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we went across in 2003 and i just drove over (w/o trailer) from montana. at that time, meat and wood was what i was asked abt going in. not any trouble going in.
we stopped and ask the US Customs before going in and we did not need a passport but if there had been a national emergency in the US, we could have been denied reentry w/o one (until they could varify we were US citizens...possibly a day delay).

I was inspected a lot closer coming back than going over.

I would take the passport.

ur auto insurance is good in Canada. i got a id card from my agent before going up showing it was good in Canada. was never asked for it.

ur health insurance, i would check on. my private insurance didn't have a problem anywhere i went. now that i'm on medicare, it could get tricky.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:15 PM   #22
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It's not that you can't bring alcohol into Canada, it's that you will pay duty on whatever is over the limit. That actually may be in your best interest as alcohol in Canada is much more expensive. $2 duty for example on a bottle of wine is a bargain if you only paid $7 for the bottle that in Canada retails for $17. Make comparisons before you travel. There is no two buck chuck in Canada.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTX Al View Post
This is probablly your best advice. However, assuming that you are a U.S. citizen, you won't require a passport as other forms of I.D. will suffice, BUT if you and your fellow travellers do have passports, bring them. It will simplify matters greatly. Oh, and leave your guns at home - big hassle if you want to bring them.

...VTX-AL
You DO need a passport to get back in the US.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:47 PM   #24
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Incorrect - check the link provided by F.R.O.G. above. There are several I.D. options and some, the Enhanced Drivers License for example, depend on what state or province you live if provided there.

...VTX-Al

Just took this from the Department of State website:
When returning to the United States from Canada, it is very important to note that all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the United States via air. For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document. The only exception to this requirement is for U.S. citizens under the age of 16 (or under 19, if traveling with a school, religious, or other youth group) who need only present a birth certificate (original, photocopy or certified copy), Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or naturalization certificate.

The only states with Enhanced Drivers Licenses are: Michigan, New York, Washington and Vermont. It is also good to note that Canada has a very strict policy regarding those with a police record. If you have a felony, and sometimes even a misdemeanor, (whether you are found guilty or not, it may still be on your record!) you have to fill out a special application that can take up to a year. And the application could cost $200 to $1000. Not saying that applies here, but we have friends who would have to fill this out. What is classified as a misdeameanor here could be a felony in Canada.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:10 PM   #25
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Just claim refugee status, they will put you up at their expense for at least a year you don't even need to work.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:11 PM   #26
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I always have to laugh when Americans wonder what it is like coming to Canada. It's not like you are coming to South America or Asia where the customs and language are totally different, lol! We are so Americanized anyway because most of our TV and other forms of media originate in the US.

The trick is getting across the border unscathed... It feels like a Berlin Wall sometimes. NEVER tick off a Customs Officer. NEVER! Once you are in, folks in Canada are pretty much the same as in the US. Always be nice and totally honest. Don't try and hide a single thing, no matter how insignificant it seems. We know someone who neglected to declare one orange they had in their TT and they ended up being detained for hours.

NEVER, EVER bring a firearm into Canada. Most Canadians don't like them and the only people allowed to carry weapons here are cops, gang members and drug dealers.

Don't bring fruit or vegetables into Canada. I don't think there's a problem with meat as we often buy it in the US and bring it back. They'll also ask you if you have more than $10,000 in cash with you or alcohol. Yes, alcohol is ridiculously expensive here. At least our beer has more alcohol so you don't need to buy as much.

If anyone is visiting friends or relatives in Canada and wants to bring stuff to Canada, you really better check with Customs Canada or Agriculture Canada. Things like pesticide are banned I believe. We've brought weed killer back into Canada (even though made in Saskatchewan) and I think it may be forbidden to do that. (Was like 1/2 price in Washington.)

Most stuff is waaay cheaper in the US, so if you need something when heading out on the road, buy it in the US (if allowed into Canada). Since we live just a couple of miles from the US/Canada border (near Vancouver) we regularly buy things online and get it shipped to a US mailbox and go pick it up. We've saved huge $$$. Bought a lot of things for our TT online from the US. On purchases less than about $300, they don't charge duty/taxes either (If you are in the US for only a few hours).

More to know: We don't say "eh" anymore (as of 10-20 years ago) -, you'll sound like a total dufus. We have washrooms generally, not "restrooms". Don't say "ya'll" 'cuz you'll be a dead giveaway for a summer tourist. Octane ratings on fuel pumps seem to be typically reversed left to right, so watch out that you aren't paying for the highest price gas 'cuz you normally hit the button on the right (or is it left?). HOV lanes on highways are for slooow drivers because for some reason, idiots think if you have 2 or more occupants, you MUST use the HOV lane. This means that the right lane can be faster, which is good anyway for RVers..... We have Denny's all over so you can still get your Grand Slam breakfast on the road. Don't waste your time going shopping in a mall here expecting to find some unique gift to take home. We have all the same friggin' chain stores in them just like in the US. And forget about the usual tourist trinket shops because they have the same made-in-China crap as is in the US (just different labels printed on it). You'll be better off asking locals where to go.

If you think you want to come to Canada regularly, I really recommend a NEXUS card. We got them a couple of months ago, and they're FANTASTIC!! Almost zero wait time at the crossings each way. Way cool! I mean, really waaay cool!

Oh, and one last thing. If you have a big trailer and truck, you should check ahead to see if the border crossing you are planning to go through is big enough for your setup. For example, in B.C., the newly renovated Peace Arch crossing easily handles large TTs and trucks. But the Pacific Highway truck crossing is too tight a squeeze for big units. I watched a guy last week go through the Pac Hwy crossing (at the US side) and he had like an inch to spare on each side. He had to back up several times to get aligned along with the help of a US Customs officer. His rear view mirrors went past the concrete filled steel pipe columns on each side and were just high enough by a couple of inches. Whew!! Not for me... Our TT and truck goes through fine though. They make you go through the same lines as cars and you can't use the commercial truck lanes.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:45 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTX Al View Post
This is probablly your best advice. However, assuming that you are a U.S. citizen, you won't require a passport as other forms of I.D. will suffice, BUT if you and your fellow travellers do have passports, bring them. It will simplify matters greatly. Oh, and leave your guns at home - big hassle if you want to bring them.

...VTX-AL
So not true anymore. A passport IS REQUIRED or a Enhanced Drivers License.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #28
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When at the border always make eye contact with the custom officer. If you act nervous in any way you could be pulled over and have your rig searched. It is not a big issue but a stop at the custom office could last up to 1 hour. On another note try not to go through the border at peak times. I have had to wait in the queue for over an hour and 1/2 during peak periods.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:08 PM   #29
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A few years ago, coming back thru Ft. Francis (Canada side) and International Falls (U. S. side), the wait was well over two hours (Saturday afternoon with fisherman returning) Since then, Been using the Pigeon River crossing, but its getting more busy. If you have a criminal or drunk driving on your record, they won't let you across. Wayne
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:24 AM   #30
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If you are traveling with a child/children and both parents are not present, make sure you have notorized documentation from the absent parent giving permission for the child/children to leave the U.S. and enter Canada.

If anyone has specific questions, I will be happy to get answers "from the horse's mouth" as I have 5 immediate family members that work the border. 3 work customs and 2 work the immigration side.

Also, avoid crossing during Canadian holidays! The wait lines can be very long!

Vehicle searches can also be entirely random. There may be a designated search, say every 10th car or all drivers wearing a red shirt. This is not the time to try and joke around! Humor is usually not appreciated! Stay in the vehicle unless asked to step out. Typically you are not allowed to watch the search or participate in any manner. Now once the search is over, the contents are totally yours to deal with. I have seen a vehicle emptied of all its' contents, suitcases opened and lying on the pavement. Parents have been asked to change a child's diaper and throw away the old diaper in a container provided.

Just remembered, no pepper spray or mace allowed. Radar detectors are prohibited in many provinces. They used to be OK in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and BC - but I would check that out.
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