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What documents do you need to cross the border?

What documents do you need to cross the border?

May 19th, 2000, 05:10 AM
  #1  
Mary Sue
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What documents do you need to cross the border?

We will be visiting Canada in a few weeks and I am wondering what kind of documenation we will need at the border. My passport has expired. Driver's license? Birth certificate? Information will be greatly appreciated.
 
May 19th, 2000, 05:19 AM
  #2  
ron
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You need to be able to prove that you are a citizen of whatever country you claim to be a citizen of - so the expired passport would be fine if you are an American, as would be the birth certificate.
 
May 19th, 2000, 06:35 AM
  #3  
Bob Brown
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Hi Mary Sue. You pose a very good question. I have crossed by car and at airports quite a few times. IF !! you are flying from the US into Canada and back, then I urge you to get your passport renewed because it is so much easier when you have it. The last two times we have flown, several people who lacked proper documentation were questioned at length. Last year in Toronto, I showed my passport both coming and going, and that was that. No questions, no hassle.
Usually when crossing by car, I have not had to show anything except my Southern drawl. In fact, I don't recall ever showing any papers either coming or going.
But, to be safe, if I did not have a passport, I would take along a picture ID and either my birth certificate or a voter registration card.
I don't like to take my birth certificate because I think it would be harder to replace than a passport if I lost it. (I can get a new passport with my birth certificate, but the reverse is not necessarily true.)
If you cross by car, tell whomever is driving not to get funny or lippy with the Canadian immigration and customs officials. The only time I ever saw a real search was when a guy driving a van entering at the border crossing north of Glacier NP lipped off to the agent when asked about firearms and alcohol. The officials had him pull over and, as we drove up the road, my wife glanced back. Seems like the insides of his van were rapidly piling up on the pavement.
 
May 19th, 2000, 03:15 PM
  #4  
rand
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Bob is right. It does depend on how you travel. At the Koho ferry between Victoria and Port Angeles the customs want a drivers licence. If driving over the border on the mainland usually nothing. If landing in Hawaii then a current passport or an expired passport with a birth certificate or drivers licence with a birth certificate. Makes perfect sense doesn't it?
 
May 21st, 2000, 12:32 PM
  #5  
Bob Brown
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Just a footnote to the above.
One friend of ours, who is part Navajo and part German made the mistake of attending a professional conference in Vancouver. No problem flying in to Vancouver, but coming home she told us that American Immigration officials gave her a royal going over, mainly because she did not have her birth certificate or her passport. I think she had to trace her life history for them and explain everything. Her husband was along,but he did not help because his last name is Italian and he had a similar lack of appropriate papers. I don't know the details, but I have heard the story more than once.
After hearing it, I started taking my passport to Canada. Legally one is not required, but by having it last year I went right on through. No questions at all; just a friendly smile in Canada.
 
May 22nd, 2000, 03:55 AM
  #6  
Mary Sue
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Thanks for all the good information, everyone. Now we will be prepared. We are going to Glacier National Park in Montana then driving up to the Banff area. And greatly looking forward to it, I might add!
 
May 22nd, 2000, 04:16 AM
  #7  
Kathy
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Hi all,
You mentioned what customs is like in airports and also what its like when driving across the border. How about on the train. How big of a hassle is it? My husband and I have birth cirtificates and drivers licenses for ourselves, and birth cirtificates for the kids. Is this going to be a hassle?

Thanks,
Kathy
 
May 29th, 2000, 03:20 AM
  #8  
Albert
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Hi everyone!
My wife and I will be going up to the Montreal Jazz Festival this year with our 17-months old baby. My wife and I both have our proper passports, but what kind of document do I need to provide for my son, if any? Is he too young to have a passport? I thought about bringing his birth certificate, but would prefer not to have it if we don't have to, in case we may lose it...
Thanks everyone.
 

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