Driving across the border between Canada and the U.S. for the first time can be an intimidating experience for experienced and new drivers alike. There are a number of entry requirements for Canada and the U.S., including passport requirements that you need to meet. Be prepared before you try to cross the border into the US from Canada.
Traveling across the Canadian and U.S. border does not have to be a hassle if you are already aware of the rules and regulations before embarking on your trip. Learn more about how to ease your border crossing experience below.
Crossing the Border from Canada into the U.S.
The rules and regulations differ somewhat between going to the U.S and coming back to Canada. If you’re entering the U.S, here are five things that you should be prepared for so you don’t get asked to turn back.
1. You will need the proper identification
As of January 2007, all Canadian citizens who wish to enter the U.S. require passports. Alternatively, you may qualify for the NEXUS alternative inspection program. The NEXUS card lets frequent travellers ease the border crossing between US and Canada with a minimum of customs and immigration questions. Your passengers must also have the correct form of identification.
2.Declare what you are bringing over
If you plan on bringing anything into the U.S. that you aren’t bringing back (say gifts to a relative), then you need to declare them before you go through. This may involve filling out paperwork on what you are bringing into the country. You should also take careful note of what items you are allowed to bring into the U.S.
3.Pets in the car
In order to bring a dog or cat with you to the U.S., you will need to have proof that the animal’s vaccinations are up to date, otherwise you may be told that you cannot bring the pet into the country.
Needless to say, you should not be transporting illicit substances between countries. This isn’t that kind of tips article. Keep in mind that you may be subjected to a random drug search when you arrive at the U.S. border, in which a border guard will walk around your vehicle with a dog that will sniff for drugs and other contraband.
5.Answer all questions
Be polite to the border guards and answer all of the questions they ask you, no matter how irrelevant the questions may seem. The less attitude you show, the nicer the guards will be, and the smoother your passage.
Crossing the Border from the U.S. to Canada
You will have an entirely different set of regulations when you are coming back into Canada after being in the U.S. There are a number of rules and regulations that you need to be aware of.
1.You may need identification
Be prepared to supply correct identification to get back into Canada. Normally your driver’s license is enough, but it’s a good idea to have your passport, enhanced license or NEXUS pass handy just in case you are asked.
2.Declare all purchases
It’s hard not to go to the U.S. without doing some shopping, but it helps if you keep track of your receipts because you will be asked for a dollar value of what you purchased while in the U.S. If you go over the maximum duty-free amount, then you will have to pay duty on your purchases.
3.Your vehicle may be searched
In some cases, you may be pulled over into a special area to have your vehicle searched if you have declared any purchases from the U.S. Be up-front and honest about everything you have purchased. These random searches can happen even if you haven’t made any purchases on your trip.
It’s actually illegal to bring in firewood from another country due to the insects or diseases that could be in the bark. If you’re carrying firewood in your vehicle, you should get rid of it before crossing the border.
5.Pet food regulations
On the way back you may be asked again to produce proof that any animals on board your vehicle have been vaccinated.